“Pupils at WGS continue to achieve top grades and their achievements have certainly not been derailed by Coronavirus or last-minute Government changes.
At a very top level, I am really pleased with the A-Level results this year. They have significantly improved from twelve months ago. The top grades (A*-A) accounted for a third of results and 50% of grades were A*-B, and 70% of results were A* to C grades. The overall pass rate was above 97%, again an improvement upon last year and 81% of WGS pupils gained their 1st Choice places at University.
With the background of a cancelled examination series for our U6th, our pupils have shown that the work undertaken prior to lock-down and the school’s continuous focus on academic improvement, they have demonstrated their resilience, motivation, and fortitude to weather this storm. The subsequent switch to remote/ distance learning during lockdown coupled to the enormous amount of dedication and hard work by both pupils and staff (plus the support of parents) we have managed to ensure that pupils at WGS have in no way been disadvantaged by the impact of Coronavirus.
The build-up to the results has been incredibly unsettling for all concerned with the outcries around firstly IB results earlier in the summer and then last week, the embarrassing climbdown over Scottish Higher examination results, followed by an 11th-hour change in England has done nothing to support or build confidence in our pupils or staff. There are pupils who are disappointed with their grades and many (both in and outside of education) do not understand how on one hand the Government can offer pupils the option to take their mock forward if they are unhappy with their actual grade (something set and assessed by their teachers) but the same teachers who used mock grades plus a surfeit of additional data to produce a Centrally Assessed Grade have had this disregarded for a lower final exam board grade has led to nothing other than confusion, upset and uncertainty. I am sure we are not an isolated case and I expect there to be much debate at a national level throughout the remainder of this week and into next. What this means for GCSE results next week and how the A-Level experience will (or will not) affect those results is too early to call. If we use 2020 as any sort of yardstick to predict what might happen, we are likely to see a series of changes and options made available over the coming days and the examination boards (and Government) will need to be prepared to handle a slew of appeals against the grades they have delivered. Statistics are all very well and I understand the desire to be ‘statistically fair’ but not if the results end up being unfair from a ‘human’ perspective. We should not lose sight of the fact we are dealing with people and young peoples’ lives and, you cannot pigeon-hole people into statistical boxes.
My final comment is one that goes to the U6th personally: Our focus at WGS has never been to simply cram you full of subject knowledge, but rather to ensure that you stand on the threshold between school life and the outside world, ready to join it as positive, considered, capable adults. More than ever this year, I believe this has been achieved. You have been a fantastic school community to work with. The legacy of this crisis will not be in the missed musicals, performances, sports fixtures, tours and cancelled examinations, but in the way, you have all carried yourselves in what has become a very challenging time for us all. I would reiterate what I said in my letter to you all just after the end of the term in July and that you are in my mind the year group that ‘does’; the evidence from your results today proves this fact and I am very proud of you all”. Chris Staley BA MBA, Headmaster
- Arina Kokina will read Law at Newcastle and will be joined by Isabella Oldershaw- Ellis who will read Biology on the back of a A* in this subject at A-Level.
- Harry Sayer will also attend Newcastle and study Computer Science.
- Nathan Culley will be reading Biomedical Sciences at Southampton and Ursula France, Mathematics at Glasgow.
- Molly Sears, Chemistry at Birmingham and is joined by Alice Pealling, Modern Foreign Languages
- Eleanor Sloan will be attending Rose Bruford to read for a BA in Theatre and Social Change which boasts alumni such as Gary Oldman, Tom Baker and Rosalie Criag.
No matter what the future holds for all of our pupils, the door to WGS will always be open and we look forward to hearing their news and stories as their progress onto the next part of their journey.