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Stratford School GCSE Results 2021

“We are immensely proud of the resilience and adaptability our students have shown, whether learning online or face to face, throughout their GCSE’s and wish them all the very best going forwards. We are delighted to release what we feel are fair and accurate outcomes for the Class of 2021. These grades are a robust professional view of what individuals have achieved. Staff have worked extremely hard to develop systems of assessment to compensate for the lack of contingency planning by the government over the last year and their decision to effectively eliminate coursework.

If we’ve learned anything from the impact the pandemic has had on education, it is surely that our current system has become far too obsessed with terminal examinations and league tables that are used to drive accountability measures. The sad truth is that in reality our system is configured to consign a third of young people to leaving school feeling that they have fallen short. Traditionally the focus on results day falls on high achieving individuals jumping for joy, rather than the ‘Forgotten Third’. Lessons from the current situation must surely lead us to question whether government is making us assess learning in the most appropriate way. In the longer term, we have to think again about our fixation on an exam-driven system. In the 21st Century, we remain wedded to a high-stakes examination system that is rooted in the 1950s. The time has come for the government to use this opportunity to revolutionise assessment in education, utilise technology and provide a variety of assessment approaches. How many jobs rely on people sitting down and providing a handwritten response for two hours based on memory? Our political leaders need to think more creatively. Exams have their place, but they should only be part of a balanced portfolio of evidence that determines grades in future. Alas, in the meantime, schools are constrained to work within the current system.

Nevertheless, we are grateful to families for supporting individuals throughout the uncertainty of the last eighteen months. GCSEs are essentially used as a means of progression to the next stage of education for students.  Students receiving their results can have every confidence that they will be able to progress in the normal way and take the next step in their education. We wish every one of our students the very best for the future and look forward to welcoming many of them back into the Sixth Form, alongside students from other local schools who have also been enrolling online today”.

It is important to focus on the achievements of this cohort rather than fixate on relatively meaningless comparisons with other years. Young people deserve great credit for all they have achieved in extremely difficult circumstances, as do the members of staff and families who have supported them throughout the pandemic.

There were some standout individual performances from many Stratford students with the highest attainers being Kirsty Fernie, Caitlin Miller, Daisy Hague, Jessica Hemming, Sofia French, Roxanne Sharpe, Adam Fulleylove and Oliver Golding. Kirsty in particular achieved a remarkable 9 grade 9’s!

However, as a comprehensive school it is important that students make excellent progress from their respective starting points, regardless of their ability on intake and it is lovely to see so many students achieving grades to be proud of. Amelia Batchelor, Toby Pearton, Charlie Fry, Ben Philpott and Emily Cresswell made the most progress from KS2-4 and should be particularly congratulated on their achievements.

This year, following the government’s cancellation of external exams, grades were determined through a process of teacher assessed grades, against a national standard that were then approved and awarded by the exam boards. The government is not publishing