LIVE BLOG: Students learn their A-level fate

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The nervous wait for results is finally over for Stratford District’s A-level students as they begun finding out their grades this morning.

The pandemic has led to a results day like no other, with grades having to be estimated following the cancellation of exams earlier in the year.

Nationally controversy has surrounded this year’s process, with some headteachers unhappy with the use of mock exam grades.

We’ll be updating this page with the latest news on results day as we get it:

Kineton High School

Kineton High School saw significant increases in the number of A*and A grades and a 17% increase in the number of A*-B grades with an improved pass rate up from 94% to 97.5%.

More than 90 per cent of students secured a place at their preferred university or destination.

Among the school’s high achievers was William Harrison (A*A*AB) , Miles Leonard (A*AA), Megan Chowdhury (Distinction *AAB) and Ellie Moll (A*A*A), who secured her place at the University of Bristol to study Veterinary Medicine.

Sibford School

Sibford School Head Toby Spence

Sibford School achieved its best A-level results on record with 56% of Sibford students overall gaining A* – B grades in their A Level and BTEC exams, with pupils achieving a 100% pass rate across all subjects.

The majority of pupils achieved places to study at their first and second choice higher education destination.

Sibford Head Toby Spence said: “This is a remarkable achievement for our pupils who have worked so hard during this most unusual time. All of the staff are delighted that the efforts of the pupils have been rewarded with some exceptional results and fabulous onward destinations for our pupils.

“It has been pleasing to see that the majority of grades awarded were a fair reflection upon the efforts of the student with nearly 40% of results awarded as A*/A or an equivalent BTEC Distinction. Whilst there are anomalies that the school will appeal we are thrilled with the overall outcome for our students.

“We are very proud of the wide range of destinations and pathways that our students are pursuing – from those who are heading to ‘Russell Group’ universities such as York and Sheffield to those who are furthering their careers in a wide range of vocations such as fashion, sport, media and theatre. This reflects the diverse and thriving community that is found at Sibford School.”

Cate Mallalieu-Needle, Head of Sixth Form added: “Our pupils have responded so well to the individual care and attention we offer as they pursue such a diverse range of pathways. We closely support each pupil whether they are applying via UCAS or following a different career path. We wish all students every success.”

Chipping Campden School

Chipping Campden School Principal, Mr John Sanderson

John Sanderson, principal at Chipping Campden School, said: “As with every other year, students at Chipping Campden School have been able to celebrate a strong set of A Level grades enabling most to access their first choice university. With students securing places on courses ranging from Medicine to Policing and everything in between.

“While it has been a long wait, we have welcomed the opportunity to see our students again and have the opportunity to personally wish them every success in the next stage of their learning journey. Staff have also been on hand to offer advice and guidance on how to navigate any revisions to the university admissions system that have been put in place for this year.

“Overall, the school’s headline measures of A* – A and A* – C grades have gone up again, having previously been significantly above the national average. However, the application of a statistical standardisation algorithm to individual students carefully considered and evidenced based centre assessed grades has, for a small number of students, generated standardised grades which do not accurately reflect or reward their effort and ability.  Understandably, we will be appealing these grades once it is made clear on what basis we are able to do this.

“In the meantime, I should like to acknowledge all the hard work and ongoing resilience of students and staff, and thank parents and carers for their continued support. While the journey to this point has been a challenging one, we are delighted to see so many who have both the grades and the grit to embrace the future with a greater sense of optimism.”

Alcester Grammar School

Alcester Grammar high achiever Caitlin Lilley gained an A* in both Biology and Economics and an A in Psychology

Principal Clive Sentance said: “Alcester Grammar School would like to congratulate the class of 2020 on completing their 13 years of education. The last few months has been an extraordinary time for all of us and this group of students are to be congratulated on their achievements and on their resilience.

“In the midst of all the current challenges, and in particular the last week, our students have shown tenacity, character, patience and kindness. They are our future, and society must not ignore their talent and potential.

“Whatever they do next, we send them our very best wishes. I’d like to thank the parents and staff as well for their contribution to the success of this cohort.”

Mr Sentence said 11 per cent of entries were graded A*, with 36% graded A*-A, 67% of graded A*- B and 89% graded A*

-C, while 44 students achieved at least three A grades. The majority of students have achieved what they need for their next steps as they had broadly been given the grades they deserved.

He added: “Our overall grade distribution is close to what we expected, but we acknowledge this is not the position for all schools. It was always going to be impossible to fairly replicate across the country the outcomes of an exam system, without actually doing exams. There are a relatively small number of students in particular subjects where justice to their abilities, efforts and achievements has not been done because of flaws in the statistical model used by exam boards to calculate the grades. We are supporting these students and are awaiting further details of the appeals process to inform our options.

“There are a number of concerns emerging from other schools about the fairness and accuracy of the algorithms, and in particular whether the proven historical ability of a school to “add value” has been taken sufficiently into account. AGS shares those concerns.”

Stratford Girls Grammar School

Jacqui Cornell Headteacher said: “We are immensely proud of our Year 13 students as they have shown incredible resilience over the course of the last few months. Stratford Girl’s Grammar prides itself on its pastoral support and helping our students to fulfil their ambitions. Seeing the students today has allowed us to provide a sense of normality when everything, I am sure, feels quite bizarre.

“We have celebrated lots of success stories here today, as well as being able to offer face to face support where needed. We are truly delighted for the very many who have secured their destination of choice. This is testament to full breadth of opportunities we offer and the options for personal development and growth. Well done to all of our students and we wish them all the best as they progress to the next stage of their education or employment.

Stratford-upon-Avon School

Stratford School

Neil Wallace, Headteacher for Stratford upon Avon School said: “We are delighted with the results our students have achieved, even if the circumstances were not of our choosing. It has been frustrating not being able to share the successes of our students in person as their beaming faces on Results Day are one of the highlights of the year.

“Nevertheless, students should feel just as proud as those receiving results in any other academic year. We wish every one of our students the very best as they move onto a wide range of University courses, apprenticeships and other routes into employment.

“I’m sure they will leave Stratford School with the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to succeed in life, as well as positive experiences and memories that last a lifetime.

“There has been considerable hysteria in some sections of the media and a lot of fuss made over the process for awarding grades. The exam boards have used a standardisation process to ensure that this year’s grades are roughly in line with those of previous years, and this is important in terms of fairness to students over time. It is a shame that the government panicked and made another chaotic announcement a couple of days before the results were released, when they have had months to consider a range of options for how the system should work.

“Nevertheless, from our point of view, the process was managed rigorously and the outcomes are broadly in line with our expectations. Any discussion of the process for awarding grades should not detract from the fact that these results are the culmination of an immense amount of hard work over the last two years by students and staff.”

Mr Wallace added that high achievers included Vitor Alcalde (A*A*A*AA), Millie Reynolds (A*A*A), Madeleine Thomas (A*AAA), Toni Kenewell (A*AA), Maria Radu (A*ABB) and Misha Allen (A*ABC)

King Edward VI School

Bennett Carr, headteacher of Kind Edward VI School

Bennet Carr, Headmaster, said “One of the immediate impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak was the sudden cancellation of the public examinations and, understandably, our students and their teachers, were left frustrated at not having the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities after all their hard work.

“However, whatever our thoughts on the government’s controversial approach, today we must focus on the positives and celebrate the wonderful achievements of a very fine year group. A great deal of what they have accomplished here cannot be measured. Their contribution to extra-curricular activities, to teams and societies, their leadership, mentoring and care of the younger members of the School.

“Those things won’t be on their A level certificates, but they are achievements of equal value that they will take away from K.E.S. and that we shall remember them for, and for which we are grateful. We wish them all every success as they move onto the next chapters of their lives.”

Warwickshire County Council Labour Group

Politics is never far from the world of education and the opposition Labour Group at Warwickshire County Council have today criticised the Government’s handling of this year’s A-level results.

Cllr Helen Adkins, leader of the opposition Labour Group at Warwickshire County Council: “having taught A Levels for 13 years at Warwickshire College, mock results are NOT a good reflection of how students are performing. Mock exams can be taken under varying conditions, depending on the school or college. For example, some schools and colleges may have given their students a previously seen paper, or may have given a particularly hard paper, to prepare students for the worst.

“All these factors lead to various results which should not then be used to base real results on. What has happened also shows the weaknesses in the new A Level system – module examinations would have meant that students would have already taken ¾ of their exams over two years by the point at which the UK was locked down. However, the biggest issue this highlights however, is that this government do not respect or value the teaching profession. This is typical of a Tory Government. We must trust the judgement of our teachers moving forward.”

Kingsley School

Alicia Craven, who was awarded an A and two Distinction* grades

The Kingsley School sixth formers have achieved a 100% pass rate, with 35% of grades A*-A, 71% of grades A*-B.

Head of Sixth Form, Dawn Morgan, said: “At Kingsley, we strive to encourage a strong work ethic with students adopting good study practices from the outset and these fantastic results reflect our girls’ and staff team’s hard work throughout their courses. All girls have adapted to very difficult circumstances and we wish to congratulate each of them warmly on these well-deserved achievements. They have, without exception, conducted themselves with grace and courage and we are immensely proud of them.”