Breaking the 75% barrier: more than three-quarters of GCSEs awarded top grade

Breaking the 75% barrier: more than three-quarters of GCSEs awarded top grade

Well over three out of every four GCSEs sat at QE this summer achieved the top grade – a new School record. Of the 1,817 examinations taken, 78% were awarded A* or 8–9 (the numerical equivalent of A* for the new-style GCSEs).

The total represents a 6.9% leap from last year’s 71.1%, which was itself a QE record.

After last year’s national introduction of new-style English and Mathematics GCSEs marked on a 9–1 scale, 2018 saw the reforms extended to many more subjects: all but three of the 19 GCSEs offered at QE this year followed the new format.

QE’s results demonstrate strong academic achievement across the board, with 92.2% of examinations given an A* or A (9–7) grade and 100% of the 180 Year 11 boys gaining the Government’s benchmark of at least five GCSEs including English and Mathematics at grades A*–C (9–4). In Mathematics, 76% of boys gained the highest-possible result, a grade 9 – equivalent to an upper-end A*.

In total there were 970 grade 9s achieved by the boys, averaging over five per student.

There were also many outstanding individual performances: 15 boys (some 8% of candidates) gained straight grade 9s in all their new-style GCSEs, while a quarter of QE’s boys recorded all 9s and 8s (A* equivalent).

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “My warmest congratulations go to all our boys on breaking through the 75% threshold with a truly remarkable set of results. This Year 11 was a happy year group who were great to teach; we are looking forward to welcoming them into the Sixth Form. Their results are the reward for many months of consistent hard work both on their part and on that of their teachers, who have adapted their teaching splendidly in response to the changes.”

“The introduction of a new grade 9 has provided our very able boys with a harder, more ambitious target to aim at – and they have relished this additional challenge.”

Analysis of QE’s results for the new-style GCSEs reveals some remarkable figures for individual subjects. For example, 100% of Latin candidates gained a grade 9. For Mathematics, it was the second year of the new qualification. Last year, 71% of boys achieved the highest-possible score, grade 9, but this year the total has risen still further, to 76%.

The GCSE results add to the celebratory atmosphere at QE that followed last week’s announcement of A-level results that included a record number of A* grades.

Highlights of this year’s GCSE results include:

  • 78% of all examinations taken were awarded A* or 8–9
  • 92.2% of examinations were given A* or A (9–7)
  • 970 grade 9s were awarded in the reformed courses
  • 15 boys achieved a clean sweep of 9s
  • 100% of Latin candidates achieved grade 9
  • 76% of boys gaining grade 9 in Mathematics, which was taken by all 180 boys
  • 100% of pupils achieved the Government’s measure of five A*-C passes (or equivalents) for five GCSEs, including English and Mathematics.