- Date: -
- Venue: Alexandra Park School, Bidwell Gardens, London, N11 2AZ
Students at APS are celebrating yet another year of excellent GCSE examination results. Under government reforms, GCSE grades for the majority of subjects are now awarded on a scale from 1, being the lowest, to 9, being the highest. There has once again been a rise at our school in the proportion of the three highest grades awarded. More than a third of the results recorded by pupils at the school were at the new 9 to 7 grades comparable to A** A* and A for GCSE. At APS 11% grade 9’s, 23% grade 8 and above and 40% grade 7 and above were achieved by the students. This represents a phenomenal return on the efforts of both the students and staff throughout the duration of the courses.
The school’s analysis indicates that, yet again, APS have again significantly exceeded national expectations for attainment and progress. Attainment 8 will exceed 57 and Progress 8 will be above 0.5, both indicators are outstanding. This shows that our young people do better by attending APS than if they went elsewhere. Many pupils gained outstanding results. More than a third of our students gained at least 5 GCSEs at these top grades and or particular note are the twelve students who achieved 5 or more grade 9s. Progress has been a key focus this year and has been exemplified by the terrific performance of so many of our students. Students such as Alex shown below who far exceeded his expectations. His story is not atypical at the school. Alex said, upon opening his results, “It was a bit of a shock and surprise but a really nice feeling after all the hard work and persistence to achieve the grades I did.”
Headteacher, Michael McKenzie, said "APS is a high performing school. We are very proud of the achievements of the students this year. We are delighted with the results that the students have achieved. Like all schools, students and staff have had to step up to the challenge of the more rigorous and demanding qualifications that have been set by the exam boards. We are particularly proud of how well the school meets the needs of all its students from the most-able students to those with significant need. We demonstrate clearly the success of comprehensive education.
“This is based on the simple but effective formula of high quality courses, taught well by expert staff, to hard-working students supported effectively by their families and our community."
“It is clear from these results that students can thrive in the learning environment that staff cultivate at Alexandra Park School. We are matching students to the correct courses whilst retaining a broad and balanced curriculum that opens doors for the next stage in their lives. We are looking forward to continuing those relationships with the students who join us into our successful Sixth Form. For all the students, however, I would like to congratulate them on their success and wish them the very best for their futures.”
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The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study. It is completed across seventy-five developed countries and measures the performance of 15-year-old school pupils' in mathematics, science, and reading. Every three years the tabloids trumpet how poorly the UK countries do against chart toppers such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Finland. Although there are many grounds on which the tests can be questioned, the results have again been accompanied by a bout of hand-wringing, doubting the effectiveness of the British education system on grounds which do not resonate with the experience of students, parents and staff in the vast majority of our schools.
Last year students at Alexandra Park School were randomly selected to take this test as part of the English cohort. The students received no additional coaching. Indeed, the school played down the importance of these tests as the last thing a year 11 needs during their mocks is more stress. They sat the 3 hours of tests beginning at 7.00am on a cold December morning in the knowledge they could not even expect to receive results. Or so we thought.
Having encouraged the students involved to recognise the value of participating in such a huge research project, which provides all sorts of valuable information, it was initially concerning to see the negative coverage of the UK results this week. We hoped that the students wouldn’t connect the test that they had done to the stories in the media, that they wouldn’t feel that they had underachieved, and be deflated by the experience.
Last week we received the school’s results. It doesn’t include individual student results but remarkably this cohort of APS students topped the chart. Yes, that’s right they topped the chart. Their results were significantly better than each of the 75 countries that took part.
We have long known the performance of our students is outstanding. APS has previously been recognised as being world class. And we still have reservations about the value of PISA tests. But it is pleasing for the students involved to know that their achievements compare so favourably with students across the globe. And it turns out that our students did exceptionally well. In fact, their average performance far exceeded that in any of the seventy-five countries.