Schools shine in GCSE results despite exam shake up

Thousands of students collected their GCSE results in August – the first year of the new exam system.

But despite the harder curriculum with more content for pupils to learn and tougher questions – several Bristol schools achieved their best results.

This year all subjects were graded 9-1 rather than A-G, with 9 representing the top mark and higher than the previous A* level.

Over 3,000 students took the exams in Bristol with provisional results showing 61.8% of pupils have reached grade 9 – 4 the Government’s agreed ‘pass’ rate.  This is an improvement on last year where 59% of pupils achieved the ‘pass’ rate. Some 40.8% achieved grade 5-9 which is a strong pass.

Across the city there have been several success stories with pupils showing incredible improvements – these included Bridge Learning Campus – with more children achieving a strong pass and almost a 20% points increase in the number of pupils achieving grade 4 and above in English and Maths.

Oasis Academy John Williams – also showed improvements across the board with almost 14% increase in the number of pupils achieving grades 4 and above in English and Maths.

Laurence Pitt, Oasis Regional Director for the South West says: “…I know that the students at Oasis academies Brightstowe, Brislington, and John Williams worked extremely hard this year and have made terrific progress – they and their families should be very proud of all that they have achieved.

“It is also important to remember to thank the staff who are so dedicated to Bristol’s young people. I know of countless examples of teachers who go above and beyond for their students, determined to provide them with the fantastic opportunities they deserve.”

Merchant’s Academy – increased the amount of pupils getting a grade four and above English and Maths by 16% points (from 34% in 2017 to 50% this year) and a 12% points increase in pupils getting a strong pass (grade 5 and above).

St Bernadette’s Catholic Secondary School – also had very strong results where one in three students achieved at least one grade 7 or higher amongst their results, with a 14% points improvement in overall pass rates in English and Maths (grade 4 and above).

Bedminster Down –  65% of pupils achieved Grade 4 and above in English and Maths with 14 students achieving top Grade 9 results

Headteacher Gary Schlick said: “In another year of significant changes for our examination system I’m very pleased that our students have achieved a strong set of results. 

“In particular we have a good increase in the number of students achieving a pass in both English and Maths that will set them up well for further study or employment.”

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “With so much change in the exam system this year our students have had to overcome many trials to succeed and I wish them all the best with whatever they plan to do next.

“There are many different options available to young people, whether it’s starting a vocational course, continue studying for A-levels or take the first steps into the working world.

“We want to see everyone able to succeed in Bristol so I’d encourage young people to talk to friends, family and teachers about what they want to do next. To those who are disappointed with their results I’d say don’t give up – you can still do well in the future.”