Birmingham’s independent schools reported their biggest A-level successes to date this year.
King Edward’s School, founded in 1552 in Edgbaston, enjoyed its best year to date with students achieving a 100 per cent pass rate at both A and AS Levels, as none of the 233 sixth form pupils failed a single subject.At A level, 72.3 per cent of the 109 candidates attained A grades, with 93.8 per cent earning either As or Bs, which are both new records for the school.
At AS level, more than two thirds of the 124 pupils (66.2 per cent) passed their exams with A grades while 87.2 per cent achieving either A or B scores, including three top candidate awards.
John Claughton, the school’s chief master, said both teachers and pupils were delighted with the outcome.
“It is an exceptional moment to have the best ever results for two year groups at the same time,” he said. “We are particularly delighted not only that so many boys gained A grades but also that there were very few disappointing results: at A Level there were only three D grades and no Es or failures. That really is something out of 333 subjects taken.
“I believe that this reflects not only the hard work of individual pupils and teachers, but also the strength of the commitment to success shared between staff and pupils.”
However, the school plans to scrap A level examinations from September 2010, when it will turn completely to the International Baccalaureate.
A similar scheme was piloted by pupils at the neighbouring King Edward VI High School for Girls, in Edgbaston, one of 50 centres across the country which have trialled the AQA Baccalaureate which combines A levels with voluntary work, arts and critical thinking.
As part of the pilot 32 students took the extra components with 26 earning distinction and six given a credit for their work.
But headteacher Sarah Evans has no plans to scrap traditional academic assessment, especially as the school’s pass rate rose by six per cent with 98.2 per cent of pupils achieving A and B grades in all subjects, not including general studies.
Nine students also attained some of the top five scores in the country across seven A level subjects.
Laura Hawkins in religious studies, Rashi Joshi in chemistry and biology, Tanjeet Arora and Katherine Turner for general studies, Victoria Waller in music, and Sophie Routledge for Italian.
Rishum Butt, Min-Jung Kang and Sabriya Gatrad also achieved some of the best marks in economics and business studies in this year’s exams.
Ms Evans said: “Exam results are always a bit of a lottery. The school is academically selective so they are bright girls and they always do well.
“We think the baccalaureate recognises the breadth of experience that being in the sixth form should be about, so we will be extending this next year, but A levels will continue.”