Dear Students, Parents and Carers
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study, completed across seventy-five developed countries and measures the performance of students in mathematics, science and reading. Every year the tabloids trumpet how poorly the UK countries do against chart toppers such as Hong Kong. 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 APS 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 7am on a cold December morning in the knowledge they could not even expect to receive results. Or so we though. In January, 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 beter 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. It turns out that our students did exceptionally well. In fact, their average performance far exceeded that in any of the seventy-five participating countries.