The 2017 summer exam season saw students sitting the new Grade 9-1 GCSEs for the first time in Maths and English. These new exams have different content and exam paper styles and the 9-1 numerical grades do not map across in a simple way to the A*-G grades. Grade 4 is now regarded as the ‘threshold’ figure, which was previously a grade C. The A*-G grades are still used for all other subjects until 2018.
This dramatic break from what has gone before means that direct comparison of this year’s GCSE Maths and English scores with previous years is meaningless with the same true for the old headline figure of 5A*-C including English and maths.
The 9-1 grades that students have achieved in Maths and English and the A*-G grades for their other subjects will be used by the Department of Education to calculate Attainment 8 and Progress 8 figures for all schools. These will be available some time in the Autumn term.
With so much change to GCSEs in English and maths and in the way school performance is measured, it was with some trepidation that results have been awaited, despite the enormous amount of hard work put in by students and their teachers preparing for exams no one had seen.
In fact, results were even better than last year’s record results with 85% English at grade 4 and above, 79% maths at grade 4 and above and 72% of the cohort achieving a grade 4 or higher in both English and maths.
Headteacher, Carrie Lynch, said ‘These are excellent results! With so much change with the new English and maths GCSEs, teachers nationally have felt that they’re working in the dark to some extent. I am very grateful to my teachers for their commitment to continuing to teach to the best of their abilities to ensure that, even with new courses, our students were able to achieve brilliant results. Ten students in one maths group achieved the highest new grade 9!’
To prepare for the challenge of the new GCSEs, Great Baddow students sat two sets of ‘mock’ exams with mock results days recreating the August event, so they got the sense of what it would be like to open those all-important envelopes in the summer.
‘This was a great way of helping our students see what they had achieved and what still needed to be done for them to gain their target grades. These results also showed how close they were to sixth form entry criteria and was an important incentive for many of them who are now ready to start their A Level courses.’ [Carrie Lynch]
Even under the new measures, Great Baddow students have, once again, excelled. For example,
Katie Bennett achieved 2 grade 9s, a grade 8, 7A*and 2As. Katie has spent the last couple of weeks competing with the Great Britain U16 basketball team in Skopje, Macedonia. Katie is still in Macedonia so had her results ‘face-timed’ by sister Charlotte who is now studing English. Both sisters were thrilled with the news!
Laura Carter received 1 grade 9, 1 grade 8, 1 grade 7 (all equivalent to the old A and above) plus a further 8A* and one A. Last week Laura’s sister, Anna, secured her place at Bath University to study maths having gained A* maths, A* chemistry and A in further maths.
Friends Dan Lord and Dan Ritchie achieved almost identical results with both both achieving 9 in maths. Dan Lord also received 8s in English Language and Literature plus a further 6 A* and one A, whilst Dan Ritchie got grades 7 and 8 in English language and literature with 7 other A* and one A.
Archie Cotteril and Katie Deverson also received great results, with both gaining 9 in maths and the equivalent of 5 A* and 3 As.
Lisa Clayden achieved the equivalent of 6A* 3As and one B and Lauren Collins gained 9 in maths and the equivalent to 4A* 5As and 1B.
Headteacher, Carrie Lynch, said ‘We always stress the importance of a student’s exam result as opening doors for them in the future and we are delighted that many have achieved the grades to progress into the sixth form and everyone else has secured a college place or further training from September.’