Exam results have improved great deal over the past few years but we have always tried to avoid getting carried away with ourselves; we have tried to celebrate our successes without losing our sense of perspective or over-stating the position. In fact, I have had quite a few conversations with parents who feel we should have been shouting a little louder about how well we have been doing recently. My response has always been that we’d rather be somewhat under-stated and focused on improvement than put ourselves in a position where there is a danger of believing our own hype and this leading to complacency.
I’m afraid that this year will have to be different. GCSE results are exceptional – so much so that it would simply be wrong to do anything other than shout from the rooftops about them!
90% of students gained 9-4 grades in both English and Maths. This is the traditional headline measure (equivalent to C grades in both subjects) and is by far and away the best the school has ever achieved. For comparison, the previous best was 83% a couple of years ago and, in the set of results before the 2008 Ofsted report that said the school was ‘outstanding’, the equivalent figure was 67%.
70% have achieved 9-5 grades in English and Maths, which we are equally delighted with. No school in Cheshire has scored anything like this since the new GCSE grading system was introduced and it is bound to compare very well indeed this year.
Performance at the top end is just as strong, with over 30% of students picking up grades 9-7 (the old A*-A) in at least five different subjects, a third of all GCSE grades being at 9-7 and just shy of 20% at grades 8-9. An impressive 23% of students scored a top grade 9 in at least one subject and 61% a grade 7 in at least one subject.
In such a strong set of results, it almost feels wrong to pick out any individual, but we must recognise the highest performers of all and the following students picked up least eight grades 8 or 9: Grace Cooke, Hannah Maudsley-Barton, Gwen Tavernier, Olivia Walsh, Charlotte Gallagher, Imogen Good, Elliot Haskins, Gabriella Komsiiski, Imogen Longton, Samuel Bowyer and Elisabeth Kirsten. To perform so consistently at such a high level is just phenomenal and we take our hats off to these incredible young people.
Beyond the headline English and Maths measures, and perhaps even more pleasing, is that the performance across all subjects is also absolutely excellent – and remarkably consistent. Science, Languages, PE, the Humanities and DT subjects have all performed especially well.
At the time of writing, we are still awaiting confirmation from the government, but it looks as if our progress 8 score is going to be around 0.54, which is exceptional; very few schools nationally will have such a high score. What this means is that, even allowing for the fact that our cohort start with KS2 scores above the national average, they make a lot more progress at secondary school than they would do elsewhere.
Finally, we should also mention the Year 10 English Literature results, which are also a tremendous success with 87% getting 9-4 and 67% getting 9-5 grades – again, the best results the school has had in this subject. We have seen the benefits for the Year 11 English Language results of students taking Literature a year early and these results bode very well indeed for next year.
What feels particularly satisfying is that these results were not unexpected; they are in line with predictions and build on the rapid improvements of the past few years. A lot of hard work from a lot of people sits behind them. I cannot praise the students or staff highly enough for the way they have approached the new GCSE specifications over the past couple of years. There is more pressure than ever around exam performance and everyone has responded brilliantly. I could not be more proud of them.
Summary of provisional results, 2019
|Lymm High School||National average*||Warrington average*|
|Pass (9-4 grades) in English and Maths||90%||64%||67%|
|Strong pass (9-5 grades) in English and Maths||70%||43%||49%|
|* Some figures are from 2018. Figures for 2019 will be released by government later, but are unlikely to change much
Click here for official figures