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Queen Elizabeth’s School is best in country for places at top universities, according to new Government analysis

Queen Elizabeth’s School consistently sends more pupils to Russell Group universities than any other school in the country, new Government figures reveal.

The Department for Education analysed data showing how many Year 13 leavers went to the group of 24 leading UK universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, over the past three years. It found that QE came out on top, ahead of other selective schools such as The Henrietta Barnett School, The Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston upon Thames and Colchester Royal Grammar School.

According to the DfE analysis, 78 per cent of the 421 boys who left QE over the past three years have gone on to study at Russell Group universities.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “We are pleased at this independent corroboration of the success of our boys in securing places at some of the UK’s best universities, particularly since the three-year period of measurement underlines that this was no ‘one-off’ related to an exceptional year.

“It is a reflection both of the hard work of the pupils and of the strength of our programmes to help boys through the university application process: these programmes offer our boys extensive support and are also highly tailored to specific needs.

“It should be noted, however, that, impressive though these figures are, they do not tell the whole story. They do not include, for example, the small but growing number of our boys applying to, and winning places at, top universities in the US, such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

“Neither do they include those boys who go to respected UK universities which, for historical reasons, do not belong to the Russell Group, such as Bath, Loughborough and St Andrews, nor those who take up places on highly regarded, specialised degree courses elsewhere.”

Founded in 1994, the Russell Group comprises universities that are research-intensive institutions with a reputation for academic achievement. They include leading universities from England, Scotland and Wales.

Schools Minister praises QE for “continuing the drive towards higher academic standards”

Government Minister Nick Gibb has praised Queen Elizabeth’s School in a special letter following last summer’s record-breaking GCSE results.

The Minister of State for School Standards highlighted the fact that QE was in the top 1 per cent of all state-funded mainstream schools for its performance in two separate areas. One was the School’s score in the Government’s Progress 8 measure, while the other was for the proportion of QE pupils – in fact, 100 per cent – entering the English Baccalaureate.

In his letter, Mr Gibb told QE Headmaster Neil Enright: “I would like to congratulate you, your staff and pupils on the outstanding progress your pupils are making and your school’s high level of EBacc entry in 2018.”

Progress 8 shows the improvement made by children across eight key subjects between the end of primary school and GCSE. QE’s score of 1.22 puts it above every other selective school in the country and in the top 15 of schools of any type nationwide. In 2018, 78% of all GCSEs sat at the School received the top grade (A* or 8-9, its numerical equivalent), which was a new QE record.

The EBacc is not a qualification but a combination of core GCSE subjects recommended by the Department for Education, including English, Mathematics, Science, History or Geography, and a foreign language.

“We want to ensure that every child, regardless of their background, has the chance to study the EBacc at GCSE, which is why I was delighted to see your results,” Mr Gibb wrote.

His letter concluded: “Thank you for your work in continuing the drive towards higher academic standards, and congratulations again to you and your staff for your hard work and professionalism.”

In response, Mr Enright said: “I am grateful to the Minister for recognising the achievements of the boys here and of my colleagues. We are committed to providing a rounded education and to stretching all our boys to ensure they reach their full potential.

“Selective schools are sometimes accused of merely creaming off the brightest students and then relying on their innate ability, but our Progress 8 score emphatically demonstrates that, in our case, this is not so. Despite the already-high calibre of our intake, boys at QE can expect to achieve more than a whole grade higher at 16 than would have been predicted based on their prior ability.”

You are among the very best – now go into the world and help others: UCL Provost’s message to QE prize-winners

More than 130 prizes were awarded to boys in the top four years of the School at the 2019 Senior Awards Ceremony – one of the highlights of QE’s academic year.

Parents, prize-winners, VIP guests, governors and staff assembled in the School Hall for an evening in which the achievements and endeavours of boys were publicly celebrated in a formal ceremony punctuated by musical interludes performed by the School’s musicians.

The Guest of Honour was Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of University College London. Since he took up his post in September 2013, nearly one hundred Old Elizabethans have taken up undergraduate courses at UCL.

Professor Arthur awarded prizes to boys in Years 10 to 13, which ranged from awards spanning the curriculum from Art & Design to Technology, to Sixth Form prizes for commitment and service. The extensive list of endowed prizes and special awards which were also presented reflects significant individuals and events in the School’s history. It includes, for example, two prizes named after former Headmaster E H Jenkins, the Bishop Broughton Prize for Divinity (the bishop, after whom one of QE’s Houses is also named, was a pupil in the late 18th century), and the Old Elizabethan War Memorial Prize.

The professor began his address by congratulating the high-fliers gathered before him: “You are the best of the best in this School, which, by definition, makes you among the very best in the country.”

Their prizes notwithstanding, all were still at an early stage in life, he pointed out. With regards to those leaving this summer, he quoted Churchill: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

He encouraged boys to apply to the best universities – particularly UCL, of course – where they would be taught to think critically, to understand what knowledge is and where it comes from.

There they would benefit from the collaboration between research and education, he said, affirming his strong belief in the desirability of a close connection between research and teaching.

Professor Arthur, who is a hepatologist, shared much of his own story, from being someone at school whose prize was for being ‘most improved’, to making his first medical discovery, related to diabetes. It was not necessarily his best research paper, he said, but one of the most cherished, giving him a “a very special feeling, realising that for a short time I was the only person in the world to know that thing”.

He encouraged the boys to “aim high” and “think big”, whilst also stressing the value of retaining humility. Citing former UN Secretary General, the late Kofi Annan, he spoke about the importance of making a contribution to society and the world, and helping those less fortunate – a theme also reflected in the vote of thanks delivered by the School Captain, Bhiramah Rammanohar.

Other notable guests at the ceremony included: the Deputy Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Caroline Stock (who, as well as congratulating the boys, expressed the pride that the borough has for the School and its achievements); her husband, Dr Richard Stock, who is an Old Elizabethan himself (OE 1967-75), and Martin Russell, the borough’s Representative Deputy Lieutenant.

In his speech, after welcoming all the guests, Headmaster Neil Enright thanked the Foundation Trustees for their sponsorship of the awards and the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s for their support both at Senior Awards and on many other occasions throughout the School calendar.

He first acknowledged the particular accomplishments for which the prizewinners were being rewarded, then told them: “A specific award does not, though, define you – nor should it restrict the celebration of your broader achievements.”

Reflecting on the fact that this year marks the quincentenary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci – “perhaps human history’s most celebrated and archetypal polymath” – he highlighted the “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination” that da Vinci was reported to have had.

“That is why we are so intent on encouraging free-thinking scholarship, critical questioning, and equipping you with the skills for life-long learning. Creativity cannot be scheduled, nor inventiveness timetabled,” Mr Enright told the assembled boys.

“Follow what you have a passion for; pick the subjects you most enjoy; embrace trying to learn new skills at School and outside it.

“These topics and interests can be eclectic. History shows us that many discoveries and inventions have come from the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences.

“This is, though, no argument against expertise, or eventual specialism. Indeed, I am sure that this will be the outcome for many of you.

“What I would encourage is for you to keep open and expansive minds; to continue, through your studies here, at university, in your careers and in your hobbies, to try and develop an expertise in a range of areas to make you as rounded individuals as possible.”

Music performed during the ceremony covered a number of genres, from Shostakovich’s Sonata in D minor Op. 40 for Cello and Piano, Movement 2, to two pieces composed by American saxophonist Gordon Goodwin.

“Grammar schools provide an unrivalled ladder of opportunity” – new report published as QE’s George the Poet inspires the next generation at Cambridge

New research highlights the success of grammar schools in sending large numbers of pupils from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to top universities.

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) study shows not only that students of all backgrounds are much more likely to progress to a top-tier university if they have been educated in an area with grammar schools, but that this is particularly true for those from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

Its publication comes as the magazine of King’s College, Cambridge, reports on Old Elizabethan George the Poet’s key role in the college’s first-ever open day for BME applicants. The magazine explains that although King’s accepts a relatively high number of state school pupils, it remains concerned about the ethnic diversity level among its student body.

Nationally renowned spoken-word performer and social commentator George Mpanga (OE 2002–2009), who himself attended King’s, led an empowerment session for the visiting prospective undergraduates. He told them how his time at Cambridge helped him understand the inner-city community he had come from, giving him an academically-based perspective which has informed his subsequent commentary on race, education and class.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “At Queen Elizabeth’s School, we are proud of our long-term success as an entirely meritocratic institution, and it is noteworthy that many of our leavers, such as George, who go on to Oxford and Cambridge are from modest backgrounds, often representing the first generation of their families to go into higher education. Nevertheless, we have made it one of our key priorities to do even more to ensure fair access and we are currently developing our outreach activities accordingly.”

The 60-page HEPI research paper, entitled The Impact of Selective Secondary Education on Progression to Higher Education, was written by Iain Mansfield, a former senior civil servant at departments including the Department for Education. Its findings suggest that grammar schools can increase the likelihood of progression to the top third of higher education institutions (as defined by the Department for Education) for pupils from some traditionally disadvantaged groups, including pupils in the most disadvantaged two quintiles, namely social disadvantage and BME. In fact, it showed that the latter are more than five times as likely to progress to Oxbridge if they live in an area with selective schools than in a non-selective area, with England’s 163 grammar schools sending more BME students to Cambridge than all 1,849 non-selective state schools combined.

Commenting on the findings in the Times Educational Supplement, Mr Mansfield makes a plea for expanding grammar schools: “…for many disadvantaged students, grammar schools provide an unrivalled ladder of opportunity, offering them a route to elite higher education that is simply not systematically available to them elsewhere.”

He also tackles one frequent criticism of selective education head-on: “Did you know that that 45 per cent of pupils at grammar schools come from households with below-median incomes? Opponents of grammar schools like to portray them as only for the rich, but this statistic makes that claim demonstrably untrue. Yes, it’s true that grammar schools take a lower proportion of pupils on free school meals than one might expect – but the same is true of the most academically successful comprehensive schools, due to house-price selection.”

For his part, George Mpanga sought to inspire the visiting A-level students at King’s College, telling them: “I’m looking forward to seeing you guys in ten years and you saying to me: ‘Oh, remember that time in King’s? I was there!’ Because you will be someone, wherever you choose to go, you will be of consequence. I anticipate that; I look forward to that.”

He told them how his own time as an undergraduate had changed him: “When I went to Cambridge, I looked back at my community through binoculars and I could see it for what it is. That wouldn’t have been possible if I’d stayed in the environment. I would have become either consumed by my anger or completely disconnected with the social set-up, with the social scene.

“Being here gave me the space to look at it objectively and apply some of the disciplines of sociology, of the humanities, of the social sciences to what I saw growing up. It gave me that language. And what I found is, when I went back to that environment, everyone understood. No one looked at me funny because I’d gone to Cambridge.”

He recalled the occasion when the President of the African and Caribbean Society had persuaded him to give his first performance at Cambridge. “He was like, ‘You have to contribute. What? You’re just going to be here and you’re not going to give yourself? You’re not going to represent where you’re from in this place?’ And that pricked my conscience a little bit, so I agreed to do it.”

More boys from QE apply for top graduate-entry jobs than from any other state boys’ school, research reveals

QE boys submit more applications to leading law, finance and management firms than pupils at any other state boys’ school, according to new research.

Specialist recruitment consultancy Rare examined the applications made by more than 160,000 graduates in 2017-2018 to more than 60 graduate recruitment programmes run by blue-chip companies including Linklaters, Deloitte and Deutsche Bank.

It found that QE came second in its national list of state schools, topped only by local girls’ school, The Henrietta Barnett School (HBS).

Although schools such as QE and HBS have exceptionally strong A-level results, other schools with very good A-level performances failed to make Rare’s list, while some with more modest examination results do feature. According to Raphael Mokades, Rare’s Managing Director, one key factor in this concerns the quality of a school’s careers advice and contact with recruiters.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “I am very pleased to see us topping this table alongside our friends at HBS.

“We invest a great deal of effort into careers education, both through tailored schemes, especially for those in the Sixth Form, and through major events such as our annual Careers Convention for Year 11 boys and their parents.

“Much of this effort goes into engaging the help of our alumni network in supporting those who are currently at the School. We are mindful that many of our students will be the first in their families to seek entry to the most competitive professions. They therefore benefit greatly from the inspiration provided by those who have gone before them at QE and from the opportunity to establish early connections in those professions.”

QE’s longstanding academic success was underlined by this summer’s A-level and GCSE results – which led to its first place nationally in the Sunday Times’ influential Parent Power survey. QE is also the top selective school in England when measured against the Department for Education’s Progress 8 figure, which records progress between the end of Key Stage 2 (the last year of primary school) and GCSE results in Year 11.

“Value-added measures such as Progress 8 show that boys from disadvantaged backgrounds (and, indeed, all our students) do better than might otherwise be expected in terms of progress made at QE,” the Headmaster added.

Queen Elizabeth’s School named UK’s top state school in 2018 Sunday Times Parent Power survey

Queen Elizabeth’s School has been named the country’s top state school in the influential Sunday Times Parent Power survey.

QE overtook the 2017 winners, The Henrietta Barnett School, to head the list of the 150 leading state schools.

The rankings are determined by the percentage of examination entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level this summer (which is given double weighting) and the percentage of entries awarded A* and A grades at GCSE.

At QE, 97.3% of A-levels were awarded A* and B in August – the 13th consecutive year in which this key statistic has topped 95%. For GCSEs, 92.2% of examinations received A* or A grades (or their numerical equivalents), while at the very highest level, the proportion of A* grades reached 76.5%, which was a new School record.

QE’s Parent Power success follows the recent publication of Government league tables revealing that its boys make more progress in their first five years than pupils at any other grammar school in the country, according to the Government’s own Progress 8 ‘value-added’ measure.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “My congratulations go to both my colleagues and the boys on this very welcome news: I am tremendously proud to lead such an outstanding school. Our position at the head of this survey reflects a sustained and meticulous focus on excellence in all areas of School life.

“We offer a broad and balanced curriculum and seek to foster in our pupils habits of free-thinking scholarship: these combine thorough mastery of their subjects with a desire to pursue their own academic interests beyond the confines of the classroom syllabus.

“Moreover, there is much more to QE than examination success, important as that is in securing places at the world’s best universities. We strongly encourage all boys to take full advantage of the very wide range of extra-curricular activities.

“The fruit of this may be seen in the high standards achieved, for example, on the sports field, in the performing arts and in areas such as robotics, in which QE won a world title this year.

“Through an emphasis on service – such as in our Sixth Form volunteering programme – we aim to ensure that our boys will go on to make a valuable contribution to society.

“In short, QE aims to help our pupils become happy, well-rounded individuals, or, as our School mission has it, to ‘produce young men who are confident, able and responsible’.”

The upper reaches of the Parent Power state school survey are dominated by selective schools. This year’s Parent Power reveals that, in national terms, state schools are closing the gap on the independent sector: the 128 schools in which at least half the GCSEs taken were graded A*, or 9/8, this year include 38 state schools (including QE), or nearly a third. In 2016, the proportion was only 20%.

The Parent Power guide is available online here.

Maximising our boys’ potential: QE beats all other selective schools in new league table

Boys at Queen Elizabeth’s School make more progress in their first five years than pupils at any other grammar school in the country, according to new Government figures.

The Government league table reveals that QE is the top selective school in England when measured against the Department for Education’s Progress 8 figure, which records progress between the end of Key Stage 2 (the last year of primary school) and GCSE results in Year 11.

The statistics are based on this summer’s GCSE results, which saw 78.1% of examinations being awarded an A* grade or its numerical equivalent, 8/9 – a new School record.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “I am delighted at the recognition of the academic achievements of our boys provided by this table.

“Some claim that selective schools do little to stretch their pupils and that they achieve good GCSE results simply because of those pupils’ innate abilities. The Progress 8 figures provide irrefutable empirical evidence that, for Queen Elizabeth’s School at least, such claims are simply untrue: we are very successfully stretching our boys so that they can achieve their full potential.”

Overall, QE’s provisional Progress 8 figure of 1.22 placed it 15th out of the country’s 6,530 schools and colleges in the league table. Furthermore, QE performed comfortably ahead of any of the 14 schools above it when compared against two other Government measures, Attainment 8 and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), both of which are methods of recording pupils’ achievement in key GCSE subjects.

In fact, the newly released figures reveal that QE was England’s third-placed school for Attainment 8 and the second-placed school for its English Baccalaureate average point score, narrowly beaten in both cases by girls’ grammar schools.

Further analysis confirms that QE’s record of ‘adding value’ is a consistent one: when compared with the country’s other selective boys’ schools, Queen Elizabeth’s has been the best performer for Progress 8 and Attainment 8 in each year since these measures were introduced by the Government in 2016.

QE shines in national newspaper league tables for both GCSE and A-level results

QE is the country’s top boys’ state school for GCSEs, according to The Times, and its A-level results were better than any 11-18 independent school, a table published in the Daily Telegraph reveals.

The Times ranked schools according to the proportion of top grades achieved, taking account both of the percentage of grades 9 & 8 achieved (both deemed equivalent to an A* under the old system) and the percentage of grades 9,8 & 7 (A* and A equivalents).

QE’s 78% for 9 & 8 grades put it ahead of the next-placed state school, Colchester County High School for Girls, on 72% and only slightly behind the top-placed state school, The Tiffin Girls’ School, on 79.4%.

The Telegraph published a table compiled by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) which ranks schools with more than ten A-level candidates by the proportion of A* and A grades achieved by their Year 13 pupils in last week’s results. Of the 304 independent schools across England and Wales who released their results to the ISC, only a specialist private post-16 provider – Cardiff Sixth Form College – bettered QE’s total of 84.7%.

The Times also published its own league table based on A-level results. In this, QE vied with Wilson’s School in Sutton for the spot as the country’s top state school: QE had a clear lead in terms of the proportion of A* grades achieved (45.2% to 38%), while Wilson’s was marginally ahead in the percentage of grades at A*–B (96.8% against 96.7%) – the main measure used in compiling the table. [Subsequently, QE’s figures have risen to 46.9% A* and 97.3% A*-B.]

Overall, QE was in fourth place in The Times’ A-level league table, behind Wilson’s and two independent schools (Brighton College and City of London School for Girls) – up from 13th place last year.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “It is encouraging to receive this independent corroboration of the outstanding performance of our boys at both GCSE and A-level. A small number of independent schools were listed with slightly higher GCSE figures than QE, although many of their pupils sat IGCSEs, whereas state schools such as QE have had to make the transition to the reformed, more rigorous new GCSEs.

Mr Enright added: “Although I am delighted by the performance of our boys this summer, it should be recognised that the QE experience is about much more than examination results, important though these are. We seek to ensure the rounded development of all our boys, and their happiness and wellbeing are of paramount importance to us.

“Our academic focus, therefore, extends well beyond examination syllabuses in that we encourage boys to pursue their intellectual interests, nurturing an environment of free-thinking scholarship. We also strongly encourage all pupils to find fulfilment in their free time by engaging in our wide range of stimulating extra-curricular activities.”

  • This story was updated on 25th August to include information about the league table published in the Daily Telegraph.
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.
“Exceptional” QE pupils respond to challenge of new A-levels with a record-breaking number of A* grades

Sixth-formers at QE achieved the School’s highest-ever total of the very top A-level grade – crowning an unbroken 13-year record of performance at the highest level.

Of the 482 A-levels taken, 46.9% were awarded A* – easily outstripping the previous record of 42.2% set in 2015.

Further analysis of QE’s results reveals that there is strength in depth, too: this is the 13th consecutive year in which the benchmark figure for the proportion of examinations awarded A*–B grades has topped 95%. The 2018 figure of 97.3% improves further on last year’s 96.0%.

Twenty-eight leavers have received offers from Oxford and Cambridge this year, while over the previous five years 144 boys from QE won Oxbridge places. The overwhelming majority of QE boys – more than 90% in 2017 – secure places at Russell Group universities, while a small but growing number have headed to Ivy League colleges in the US.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “Our boys have exceeded even our own expectations and I am absolutely delighted by these results, especially given the national context.

“To put our boys’ achievement in perspective, it is frequently noted that when major changes to examination systems are introduced, there is typically a dip in performance. This is often explained by the fact that teachers cannot use previous teaching materials and that there are no past papers for pupils to use in their preparation.

“The fact that there has been no such dip at QE – in fact, quite the contrary – is testament both to the boys’ exceptional efforts and to the dedication of our staff in preparing teaching and learning materials of the very highest order to make sure that the pupils did not lose out, despite their being ‘guinea pigs’ for the new system.

“There has also been speculation in the press that the introduction of these changes – which involve much greater emphasis on performance in examinations, rather than in coursework – would result in boys doing well at the top end. That has certainly been the case here.”

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, recently told the Times Educational Supplement that this year’s significant increase in the number of unconditional offers from universities could damp down top A-level pass rates.

Mr Enright explained why there had been no such effect at QE. “Our advice to the boys – which has indeed been the approach they have taken – has been that they should go for their optimal university place and not be swayed by any unconditional offers they may have received.

“We have urged on them the importance of understanding that their A-level results reflect their ability and hard work over the seven years they are at the School. They are also aware of the evidence concerning the most prestigious graduate jobs – that A-level outcomes are one of the first things that future employers will look at when considering applicants. In short, we believe that A-level performance remains absolutely critical.”

The Headmaster also welcomed recent indications that Ofsted will be placing a greater focus on the overall educational experience provided by schools, with a concomitant reduction of emphasis purely on examination results.

“At QE, although we regularly appear at or near the top of examination-based league tables, we emphatically do not want either Ofsted or the families of prospective pupils to judge the School by A-level or GCSE grades alone. The very strong results of our boys at A-level should be seen as a by-product of the whole QE experience, rather than the sole purpose of an education here.

“That experience includes, of course, high-quality opportunities in fields such as sport, music and drama. But also important is the spirit of scholarship that prevails at QE – the electric atmosphere generated by the presence of so many bright and ambitious people, both boys and their teachers, all working to cultivate habits of independent learning and deep academic curiosity.”

QE’s Year 13 pupils sat A-levels in 16 subjects this year, including a full range of the sciences and humanities. The most popular were Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Economics – taken by 116, 58, 48 and 46 boys respectively – while this year saw increases in the numbers taking French and German A-levels.

The School’s Year 12 boys also performed strongly at AS-level: the proportion of top grades (A) was up from 75.3% in 2017 to 79.7%, while the A-B figure also rose, from 91.5% to 92.8%.