Top Grades Rise at Benenden Despite GCSE Reforms

Top Grades Rise at Benenden Despite GCSE Reforms

23 August 2018

Pupils at Benenden School have performed exceptionally well in a year of significant exam reform, with an increase in the proportion of grades earning top marks – and nearly a third of all results under the new system awarded the coveted Level 9.

In results released today, 57 per cent of all grades were at A* or Level 8 or above (equivalent to A*). This represents an improvement on last year’s excellent results, when 55 per cent of grades were at A*.

A remarkable 30 per cent of all the results under the new system achieved Level 9 – the new top grade introduced as part of Government reforms aimed at making GCSEs more challenging.

Ten per cent of the year group achieved a clean sweep of A* grades and Level 8/9, while 36 per cent received nothing less than the equivalent of an A grade (or Level 7).

Within a very successful year group, three girls achieved a clean sweep of Level 9s and A* grades.

Headmistress Samantha Price said: “We are incredibly proud of the girls’ outstanding results, especially in a year when the exams were tougher than ever. The pupils’ hard work, positive attitude and dedication have paid off wonderfully and my thanks go to the dedicated Benenden staff who have worked so hard to enable them to achieve these outcomes.

“I am particularly pleased that the girls have achieved these results at the same time as embracing an array of co-curricular activities such as our annual Arts Festival, some magnificent sporting achievements and volunteering in the local community. These happy, high-achieving girls have extremely bright futures.”

Contained within today’s results were some impressive subject performances, including:

96 per cent of History results were A*/A
86 per cent of Maths results were at Level 7-9
84 per cent of Physics results were A*/A
85 per cent of Geography results were at Level 7-9
In addition, 10 girls took a voluntary extra qualification of the Higher Project, a 2,000-word dissertation which teaches the research skills required for university. Seventy per cent of these were graded A*.

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. This is excellent and significantly higher than the average value added for independent schools.

The well-publicised reforms to GCSEs – in which the traditional A* to E grades are being replaced by a numerical 9 to 1 system – have been phased in over four years. Just under half the subjects sat by Benenden girls have moved to the new system this year. These include English, Geography, Maths and Religious Studies.

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