GSA girls are great at science GCSE – again

As students collected this year’s GCSE results, one message could be heard loud and clear: girls in GSA girls’ schools continue to excel in sciences and STEM subjects generally.

At Howells Llandaff, 88% of all science entries were graded 9-8 (the equivalent of an A*). In biology, 92% of all results were level 9-8, in chemistry, 88% were level 9-8, and in physics 83%.  The school’s principal, Sally Davis, said: “These results provide further confirmation, if it were needed, that in an all-girls learning environment, free from gender bias or social pressure from boys, girls thrive in what have been traditionally regarded as male-dominated subjects. The single-sex education available at Howell’s provides the motivation, self-belief and resilience for our girls to feel confident about their abilities; they are more assertive and willing to take risks, ask questions and make mistakes.”

In Sheffield, over a third of all maths students at Sheffield Girls’ High School (42 out of 121) achieved top grade 9 in GCSE maths. Head Mrs Nina Gunson said: “The results in maths are outstanding.”

At Merchant Taylor’s Girls’ School in Crosby, Samantha Harrison is now planning to study for a degree in Physics with Spacecraft Engineering after achieving eight grade 9s, one grade 8 and an A*. Sam had also been awarded a scholarship to attend her school’s sixth form and wants to work for NASA one day.

St Mary’s Calne is the only independent school in the UK to be awarded the Platinum Science Mark. This year girls achieved 96% A*-As grades in biology; 89% A*-A in physics, 83% A*-A in chemistry and 81% 9-7s (A*-A equivalent) in maths.

At Benenden School 84% of physics results were graded A*-A and 86% of maths were at level 9-7. The School’s value-added score – the method for assessing pupils’ improvement – was 1.0, meaning that for every subject, each girl is gaining on average one whole grade above what she might otherwise have achieved.

Grade A* was the reward for 88% of girls who sat Chinese Mandarin at Putney High School. Overall, the school had almost three quarters of grades at A*/9-8, with over 62% at  A*/9. Headmistress Suzie Longstaff said, “The abundance of 9s at GCSE level is truly phenomenal.”

Karl McCloskey, principal of The Marist School, said: “With 60% of the further maths GCSE cohort achieving A*-A grades and 45% achieving 9-7 in the maths GCSE, the notion that high attainment in maths is the preserve of boys is strongly dispelled by our girls.”

At the Royal Masonic School for Girls performance was strong across all subjects, with exceptional percentages at grade 9 in the reformed GCSEs in biology (45% grade 9) and chemistry (38%).

Overall, GSA schools have done exceptionally well in this year’s GCSE results with many schools achieving their best results ever despite the new 9-1 grading system.

These are just some of the GCSE results stories from our schools today. Read more in our School News section or on individual school pages.

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