Academic aces have started 2014 in record-breaking fashion by smashing their college’s previous exams achievements.
Uplands Community College in Wadhurst is celebrating the success of its year 11 students in their early entry GCSE English language exams after 80% achieved a pass at grades A* to C.
The early entry examinations were taken last November and the results, released on Thursday, January 9, surpassed their previous achievements. All students in year 11 at the school took the exams and almost all achieved their challenge target for English language.
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Year 11 student, Tom Craston, said: “I am really pleased with my English result.
“I tried my absolute hardest and this shows that if you put in hard work you will achieve what you want.”
The early exams were taken soon after the department for education made changes to the league tables for secondary schools.
The changes dictate that the result achieved from a student’s first sitting of an examination subject in English, English literature, mathematics, science, history, geography and modern foreign languages will count in the school’s performance tables.
Later retakes taken by students to improve grades will not count in the league tables. This means that by giving pupils the opportunity to take exams early the school risks its league table position.
But in 2012, the school found itself comfortably in the top half of schools nationally, with 64% of students achieving at least five A* to C GCSEs compared to the national average of 59.4%.
Liam Collins, headteacher, said: “If this change to policy is asking us to choose between our league table position and the life chances of our young people, Uplands will always select the latter.
“Early entry is used to maximise a student’s onwards progress towards an outstanding final grade and at Uplands we believe students should enter early for an examination when it is in their best interest to do so.
“Despite the government’s changes, we decided to continue with the November exam entries, as it helps ensure our young people access the broadest range of pathways at the end of year 11.”