23 August 2018
The theme for Year 11 on Leavers’ Day 2018 at St Helen’s school was Girl Power and this has certainly proved to be prophetic in light of this year’s outstanding GCSE results. Leavers’ Day at St Helen’s is a joyful day during which the school community celebrates the key characteristics of its outgoing Year 11s. In legacy and the new GCSEs combined, 79% achieved 9-7 and A/A*.
In legacy GCSEs, 61% achieved A* and 84% A/A* grades awarded. We were also delighted that a hugely impressive 23% achieved Grade 9 in the new style GCSEs (in comparison to a national average of 4% grade 9s in reformed GCSEs).
In the face of new syllabuses, more challenging content and another year of transition, these results are particularly noteworthy.
Headmistress Dr Mary Short commented, “St Helen’s prides itself on being a school which champions girls only education, where girls are empowered to choose a diverse range of subjects which inspire and challenge them and where exceptional teaching enables students to develop an inquisitive approach to their learning and the confidence to be creative and original in their thinking. This environment enables girls to achieve academic excellence in a very broad range of academic disciplines.”
Continuing the success of previous years, St Helen’s girls achieved top grades across the whole spectrum of academic subjects. An outstanding 51% of Maths entries achieved grade 9 and 92% were awarded grade 9-7. Latin, Greek and PE all achieved 100% grades 9-7 in the new style GCSE while 85% achieved grades 9-7 in Religious Studies.
In the legacy GCSEs, St Helen’s girls showed particular flair for Modern Foreign Languages with 91% achieving A/A* in French and 90% achieving A/A* grades in Spanish. Equally impressive were results in History, with 95% achieving A/A* in what was a very large cohort.
Almost half of the GCSE cohort achieved grades which were all 9-7 or A/A* and five girls achieved A* and grade 9 across the board, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of academic achievement at St Helen’s.
The new GCSEs were introduced to allow greater differentiation between students and with the intention that fewer grade 9s would be awarded under the new system. Within this context the achievements of St Helen’s girls are particularly impressive.
Dr Short added, “These fantastic results show that at a time of huge change in the GCSE system, St Helen’s girls, supported by their first-class teachers, are true academic all-rounders who continue to achieve outstanding academic success while making the most of the vast array of co-curricular opportunities on offer. These GCSEs are both the key transition point and essential preparation for our thriving Sixth Form where our strong track record of academic excellence continues. In 2018 19% of all A Levels awarded were A*s, and 80% were graded A*- B, while all Oxbridge university offers were achieved. These outstanding results at both GCSE and A Level are testament to the sustained, hard work and commitment of our pupils as well as to the exceptional teaching, support and facilities which we are able to provide at St Helen’s.”