A-Level results: schools admit there's room for improvement

Hugs all round at Witney’s Wood Green School, above, as Molly Howlett, left, and Megan Prosser, right, congratulate Becky Brooks

Hugs all round at Witney’s Wood Green School, above, as Molly Howlett, left, and Megan Prosser, right, congratulate Becky Brooks Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Bicester and Banbury. Call me on (01865) 425426

HEADTEACHERS across Oxfordshire have said they have more work to do as they confronted a mixed set of results yesterday.

Pupils at Wood Green School in Witney achieved a 98 per cent pass rate, marking a two per cent decrease and a nine per cent drop in A* to A grades from last year with just 20 per cent of its 82 students getting those grades.

It comes after the school was rated inadequate in October by the schools watchdog Ofsted and put in to special measures.

Headteacher Rob Shadbolt was told by Ofsted inspector Peter Gale in May that “reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures” was being made.

He said: “It has been an exciting day.

“Every year group is different and in terms of university places the vast majority – over 90 per cent – did get in to their course of choice.

“But we still want to make more improvements as a school and it is good that the students are achieving in line with national expectations.”

Tony Rushbrook, headteacher at Bicester Community College, said he was very pleased with their results as they had only come out of special measures last year.

The school has also almost doubled its class size from 27 pupils who took exams last year to 55.

He said: “We have spent the last year improving the school and teaching and we are getting good results.

“It has been a good start for us.”

The school saw a slight dip in A* to E results, from 100 per cent to 98 per cent but there was a rise in students achieving A to A* from 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent and A* to B results from 27 to 33 per cent.

Oxford Mail:

  • Cooper School head Ben Baxter with Amy Digman and Ben Davies

The Cooper School, also in Bicester, had a pass rate of 96 per cent and saw 21 per cent of exams marked at A* or A, while Banbury Academy had a pass rate of 97.8 per cent and 22 per cent of exams marked at A* to A.

Didcot Sixth Form College is a partnership between Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School.

Its A-Level results are down on last year but headteachers still described this year’s exam grades as a “superb performance”.

Out of 148 students completing their A-Levels, 24 per cent gained A* or A grades – down from 30 per cent last year – while 54 per cent of all exam entries were graded A*-B, down from 57 per cent last year.

Twenty-two students achieved at least three A* or A grades and of these 22, two students have gained places at Oxford University.

Rachael Warwick, headteacher of Didcot Girls’ School, said: “The hard work of our students, the commitment of our staff and their shared passion for learning has resulted in another year of excellent A-Level results for the very successful partnership which is Didcot Sixth Form College.”

Meanwhile pupils at Wallingford School and King Alfred’s Academy, Wantage, celebrated their A-Level results as both schools saw their overall pass rate rise from last year.

One hundred per cent of students at King Alfred’s achieved A* to E grades along with 99.6 per cent of pupils at Wallingford School.

Wallingford headmaster Will Wyllis said: “It has been a great year.

“At the halfway point this year, they were a bit off the pace and the progress they have made this year has been fantastic.”

Oxford Mail:

  • King Alfred’s students Lauren Chapman, Nicole Palmer, Sarah Burge and Emma Farrington

King Alfred’s head of sixth form Tim Lawrence said: “Compared to previous year groups, this cohort has lacked the benefit of January exams, and given this the progress that many students have made since receiving their AS grades a year ago is really impressive.”

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