GCSE results 2020
We are delighted with the grades that have been achieved by our students in their GCSE results this year. Overall, in terms of entries, 15% were at Grades 8 and 9, 30% were at Grades 7-9, 72% at Grades 5-9 and 87% at Grades 4-9.
Within these grades there were some exceptional individual performances at all grades, particularly where certain individual students have worked so hard with their staff to fulfil their potential and overcome their own personal barriers and challenges. We are immensely proud of all of you and the work you put in to achieve these grades and look forward to welcoming many of you back in to Post-16 to continue working with staff you know well, in a small setting but with a wide range of courses to suit all needs on your doorstep.
You should be very proud.
Miss Miles, Assistant Principal for Key Stage 4 added,
“This year group were always very focused on doing well and making their mark in the world. I am very proud of how they have dealt with the year and how they have prepared themselves for their studies next year. In amongst the positivity we experienced this morning while they received their results, were some individual stories where students had battled against personal challenges to ensure their focus on their education was always paramount.”
Mrs Merry, Head of Year 11 went on to say,
I am so proud of the year group. They have handled a very stressful situation with great resilience. Results day was a very different experience than previous years, but it was lovely to see our students after so long apart. I wish the year group well in the next chapter of their lives and look forward to finally celebrating their time at the college with our prom next year.
Margaret Turgoose, Chair of Governors said “The Governing Board is delighted to see such a good set of results which, we confidently believe, fairly reflect the hard work and effort put in by students and staff at the College. As with the A level results, Exmouth have a College of which they can be very proud, and this has been particularly evident over the past few months when the team have had to deal with such difficult situations. The communication from the College has been excellent. I would also like to add my very best wishes to the students as they move onto the next stage of their lives.
Mr Davis, Principal also recognised the fantastic efforts of the year group and what a great group of students they were to work with.
He went on to say,
“We believe the decision by the Department for Education to use Centre Assessed Grades was the correct one since teachers are best placed to use their professional judgement and evidence for each individual student to reach a grade that is both meaningful and robust.
It is important to recognise that the students receiving these grades have had an exceptionally hard time throughout the lockdown period with missing key events such as their Prom, Leavers’ Assembly and have missed out on the opportunity to prove themselves through the examination system where we know that for many they will have done well.
The uncertainty around the grades has only added to the unfortunate position which they, and Post-16, students find themselves. Once again, I would just like to re-iterate how proud we are of both sets of these students for the mature and dignified way that they have dealt with these challenging circumstances. Example of this aspirational attitude include the number of our Year 11 students who have engaged in our Pre Post-16 work and the Eton X courses we advertised earlier in the year.
As with Post-16 students, our GCSE students fully deserve the grades they have been awarded today. The Centre Assessed Grades were derived many months ago and in very different circumstances to those we see today and with integrity from all the staff that were involved in producing them. At that time we were unsure how Centre Assessed Grades would make up the final grade to be awarded and staff in every school were conscious that the system for calculating these grades needed to be robust and rooted in a range of evidence as well as being internally moderated against previous performance of a subject and national standards.
Two important points to note are that this morning some media outlets are reporting Centre Assessed Grades as “teacher predictions” and raising concerns about grades nationally increasing on previous years.
Firstly, can I reiterate that these grades are not “teacher predictions”, but are grades awarded by the Centre as the most likely grade that a student would achieve if they had gone on to sit the exams based on the evidence we had at that time. While classroom teachers are always cautiously optimistic they also have to be realistic and so after inputting grades there were many other controls in place across the College, including comparisons to similar groups of students in different bands, historic results and national data by a range of middle and senior leaders to ensure our outcomes were reasonable, accurate and rooted in evidence. The Government trusted schools to do this and we believe that we carried out this task with both diligence and integrity. My thanks to all the staff involved in working tirelessly to complete this unprecedented task in such a professional way.
Secondly, grades are likely to have increased because every year exam papers are withdrawn because of incorrect questions or fraud, for example papers being released on line, appeals being made due to rogue, subjective or inaccurate marking (many of which are successful), students becoming ill during the examination period, students being ill over the two year course and not being able to sit exams, students who find the examination process extremely stressful and underperform and finally of course student who just have a bad day in an exam or unfortunately answer the wrong question. Therefore, unlike the system of Centre Assessed Grades, the normal examination system would not recognise these facts or put certain groups of students at a disadvantage through the stressful nature of having to complete long written examinations and so it is not surprising that grades have increased.
On this basis, we strongly believe that our students richly deserve these grades that they have received today which recognise and reward the efforts of those students over time and provide a really strong foundation for their next steps; whether that is Post-16, apprenticeship or education with training.
There is no doubt in my mind, or that of all the staff (teaching and non-teaching) who, over weeks, were involved in the production and moderation of these grades, that our students deserve every single one of them. They earned them.
Students and their families should be exceptionally proud of their achievements and know that the grades their children have achieved are hard won and the result of large amounts of effort over the past two years by both themselves and our staff.
Well done to all of them.”