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School Celebrates Record GCSE Results

“We are delighted to release a very strong set of GCSE results with school records broken in numerous categories. That these results have been achieved by students in our largest ever cohort of 274 students, whose experience of secondary education has featured lockdowns, learning online and face to face, in the first year when thresholds have returned to pre-pandemic levels, is particularly remarkable.

The national debate is likely to focus on the reduced number of top grades awarded. However, we are delighted to have performed very well at the top end with 98 grade 9s awarded (up from 35 in 2019) and 150 grade 8s awarded (up from 116 in 2019). As a comprehensive school, we are delighted to have seen so many students from different backgrounds achieving so well. Overall, 15% of our students achieved at least one grade 9 or better, 33% achieved at least one grade 8 or better and 52% achieved at least one grade 7 or better. These results reflect both great teaching and the impact of our ‘Aim Higher’ sessions which students attend voluntarily afterschool.

So many students deserve great credit for all they have achieved, as do the members of staff and families who have supported them throughout the pandemic and beyond.

There were some standout individual performances from many Stratford students with our highest attainers being Eda Ferhatosmanoglu, Kezia Bull, Milly Nicholson, Joshua O’Brien, Maddie Cummins, Sam Halali, Matheus Pinto, Ella Heath-Kime, Darcy Gardner, Jacob Biles and Marina Fourkalidou.

However, 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. Joshua O’Brien, Eda Ferhatosmanoglu, Jacob Fidler, Ava White, Jasmine Hipwell, Ellia Martucci, Phoebe Nock, Sofia Souza Lima, Imogen Gautier and Sam Halali made the most progress from KS2-4 and should be particularly congratulated on their achievements.

Alas, whilst the newspaper headlines will focus on successful individuals, the sad truth is that in reality our educational system is configured to consign a third of young people to leaving school feeling that they have fallen short. The quotas of grades awarded mean that one third of young people nationally leave secondary school without a standard pass in GCSE English and Maths – qualifications which are often regarded as being important for future progression. Indeed, students are then expected to retake these qualifications in post-16 education, where most of them again struggle to pass. This demoralising process needs questioning as it undermines attempts to build confidence in the vital skills of literacy and numeracy. A fundamental rethink of our qualification system and how young people are assessed is required if we are to value all people and avoid making the so-called ‘Forgotten Third’ a permanent feature of our education system.

In the meantime, 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”.

Neil Wallace