23rd January 2017

GCSE results wows parents: 100% GCSE pass rate for Kingsley School

In the last year of the current format of GCSEs for maths and English, Kingsley School pupils celebrated a great set of GCSE results last summer, with 100% pass rate.

However, this morning GCSE league tables (Summer 2016) were published and some of the country’s best-known independent schools plunged to the foot of the league tables on a technicality.  For the third year running, Kingsley School, Bideford, was one of those schools.

As background, at Kingsley School we enter children for examinations that will bring the best possible results for the individuals involved, regardless of the impact it gives us as a school in the league tables.  Last year this meant some Year 11 students took English at the more rigorous International GCSE (IGCSE) level; however, according to the statistics from the Department of Education, their grades did NOT register in the GCSE league tables at all.  Whether the Government chooses to recognise a qualification that’s applauded by universities and employers alike, schools like Kingsley will continue to choose courses, such as the IGCSE’s, if they are considered best for the individual student.  With so many top performing schools now choosing IGCSEs over GCSEs, it is misleading that this measure has been left out of school performance tables once again this year.

Similarly, Kingsley School teaches children according to their educational need and not to their chronological age. Only children who are aged 16 in the academic year that take their “GCSE’s” are measured in the league tables. Again, there are children at Kingsley who take some or all of their GCSEs either ‘early’ because they are ahead or ‘late,’ usually because they have had a disrupted education; both sets again do not register in the GCSE league tables at all.

Headmaster, Mr Pete Last says “When we assess ourselves as a school we know that year-in year-out Kingsley School children do better, and often much better, than could be expected.  We are all delighted when our pupils find their passion and are inspired. At Kingsley we are proud of all our students, high-flyers and students who may have been overlooked in other schools, excel.  Some schools place huge pressure on achieving league table success.  Here at Kingsley we offer a bespoke education for each student, and if that means stretching them to achieve an IGCSE to the detriment of our league table profile, then we most certainly will do that.  Indeed, as a School we have chosen to extend our IGCSE offering to Maths, so our current Year 11 pupils will be sitting both IGCSE Maths and IGCSE English in the summer and none of their scores will be in the league tables next year. I know that parents across North Devon would understand that as a School we have a duty to stretch each of our pupils, and it is their individual success, not a Government league table, that I applaud.”