Pupils beat national average in new GCSEs

25 August 2017 in Education
​Newham’s schoolchildren have been celebrating their GCSE results after facing tough new examinations.
​The borough’s Year 11 pupils have performed above the national average in the new English Literature, English Language and mathematics GCSE qualifications.

This year schoolchildren across England faced new tests designed to be more challenging, and were awarded grades under a new number system, which is said to help employers and universities distinguish better between grades. This year, instead of pupils achieving A* to G grades, pupils have been marked a top grade of 9, to 1 at the bottom – a 4 is considered the equivalent of a C under the previous grading system. Examinations in other subjects continued to be graded using the letter system.

In Newham, pupils from 17 secondaries entered the exams. According to provisional data, in English 80 per cent of pupils achieved a 4 grade or higher, with 65 per cent achieving a grade 5 or higher.

In maths, 68 per cent achieved a grade 4 or higher, and 49 per cent achieved a 5 or higher.

Nationally, in English Language and Literature 65 per cent, and 72 per cent respectively, achieved a grade 4 or better.

In maths, across the country, 69 per cent of pupils achieved a 4 or better, and 48 per cent achieved a grade 5 or above.

In Newham, pupils’ grades have continued to improve year on year. Last year 63 per cent of pupils achieve the equivalent of a grade 4 in maths and English, which rose to 65 per cent in 2017. The number of pupils achieving the new tougher English Baccalaureate has also risen one percentage point to 32 per cent this year.

Councillor Rev Quintin Peppiatt, cabinet member for children and young people, witnessed students at Little Ilford School opening their results. He said: “I am seriously impressed by the amazing results children at this school and across the borough have achieved.

“This year has been particularly difficult for pupils, and teachers alike, who have had to balance two systems of examinations running side-by-side. I know our schools have worked hard together to ensure our schoolchildren continue to achieve and these results are testament to everyone’s hard work and dedication.

“I’m immensely proud of this year’s results and wish these pupils the best of luck for their next step in life, whether it’s on to further education in one of our amazing sixth form centres, training or employment.”

Arif Khan from Manor Park was the top scorer at Little Ilford School, achieving a 9 in English Literature and maths, an 8 in English Language, five A*s and two As. The 16-year-old said: “I’m actually really surprised by this, but I found that the maths exam was not as hard as the mock exam and we did a lot of mock exams in English.

“The teachers have been great, they really used the materials provided by the exam boards to help us with the new qualifications and had a good insight into what the exams would be like. We knew exactly what kinds of things we were expected to say and how to approach the questions.”

Arif is now heading to School 21 in Stratford to study physics, maths and art and design A levels and hopes to go to University College London to study architecture.

Head teacher Ian Wilson added: “I’m immensely proud of all of our students and our teachers’ hard work.

“We have worked hard this year to drive up results, especially in English, and this has been successful with students achieving a grade 4 in English Language and Literature increasing by eight per cent and seven per cent respectively.”