16 August 2018
In results announced today (Thursday 16 August) 31 per cent of Benenden’s grades were A*. This is an increase from 26 per cent last year, particularly pleasing in a year when A Levels are more rigorous and challenging after almost all subjects moved to the more demanding system under Government reforms.
The proportion of grades at A* – A also increased, to 62 per cent in today’s results, and the A* – B rate rose to 86 per cent.
In addition, almost a third of the year group achieved nothing less than an A grade.
As ever, behind the overall figures there were some outstanding individual results. Wendy Zhang was the School’s top performer, achieving an incredible five A* grades. Wendy is now heading to Cambridge to read Natural Sciences.
Five other girls achieved four A* grades each and eight more earned at least three A* grades.
Headmistress Samantha Price said: “These are tremendous results, particularly in a year when most subjects have been impacted by Government reforms, and the pupils should be enormously proud of their achievements.
“Once again Benenden girls have not only achieved academic outcomes that they can be very proud of but they also leave us fully prepared for the next exciting phase of their lives as they head to higher education, having developed a vast array of practical skills through opportunities including our Professional Skills Programme in the Sixth Form, to say nothing of the friendships and independence they have developed being in a boarding environment.
“The girls now face exciting futures and we look forward to hearing about their experiences as they study at top institutions around the world.”
Eight girls – almost 10 per cent of this year’s leavers – will be starting courses at Oxford or Cambridge in the Autumn to read a range of subjects from Linguistics to History of Art to Natural Sciences.
The top university destinations this year, as well as Oxbridge, are Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol, Exeter and London, where King’s College London and UCL are particularly popular. In addition, increasing numbers of girls choose to study abroad: this year students are off to Chicago, Boston, Texas, McGill in Canada and Hong Kong. There are currently Benenden students at Yale and MIT.
Benenden certainly confounds expectations about traditional courses for girls: some of this year’s exam students were involved with the project to build a Microlight aircraft and an ionics research project with the Chemistry faculty at UCL. Students from this cohort are off to read courses in Computing Science, Mechanical, Chemical and Pure Engineering, Geology, Business Management and Economics, Urban Planning, Real Estate, Natural Sciences, Anatomy and Physiology and Physics.
Against the national trend of a drop in interest in Languages, more than 20 Benenden girls took an A Level in languages and 10 will be reading Languages at university. Politics, International Relations, Economics and the Arts are also all great strengths at Benenden.
Benenden fully prepares pupils for university and life. For example, 38 girls took the optional qualification The Extended Project, which is similar to a university dissertation and accredits the skills of independent research and essay writing, and 30 of these gained A* grades.