“Stellar” performance: QE boys produce top results amid major changes to A-levels nationally

“Stellar” performance: QE boys produce top results amid major changes to A-levels nationally

The proportion of pupils gaining the top A* grade at A-level at QE has risen, as the School maintained a decade-long record of performance at the very highest level.

National education reforms meant teachers and pupils had to adapt to major changes in A-levels, but QE boys responded strongly, with fully a quarter of them achieving three or four A* grades.

This year’s results build on the successes of 2016, when the School enjoyed its best-ever A-level performance and, according to recently released figures, sent more pupils to Cambridge University than any other state school. (Its total of 27 Cambridge entrants was the joint-highest, together with independent Westminster School and with Hills Road, a sixth form college in Cambridge.)

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “I am thrilled that our results are so stellar, given the enormous changes in the system introduced with the new-style ‘linear’ A-levels, which focus much more on the final examinations, rather than coursework, and have updated content intended to be more academically rigorous.

“Because the changes have been so extensive, it is unwise to draw too many direct comparisons with previous years, but I am nonetheless delighted to see that our results at the very top – the A* grades – have gone up: nearly 41% of A-levels taken at QE gained this grade this year.”

It is the third consecutive year in which the figure has topped 40%, while the proportion of examinations awarded A*–B grades at QE has now remained above 95% in every year since 2005.

Mr Enright added: “My congratulations go both to our pupils – who are very able, focused and committed young men – and to our inspirational staff: teachers here reflect our philosophy of ensuring that students engage with their subjects fully, often developing their knowledge and understanding well beyond the bounds of the syllabus. QE teachers are not content for boys merely to reach the standard required to achieve top grades; they want to do more than that in their lessons, piquing their pupils’ interest and academic curiosity.  I must also thank them for their diligent hard work to develop courses based around the new A-level specifications.”

Among the many individual success stories are Adrian Burbie, whose four A* grades secured his place to read Law at Merton College, Oxford. Prominent in the Sixth Form for his role in attracting well-known external speakers to the Politics Society, Adrian praised the school for teaching him the value of “hard work, integrity and striving for excellence”. He added: “QE made me more than just a set of grades: it equipped me with the skills I will need in my later life.”

Nabil Haque, who has been captain of the rugby First XV, will take up a place to read Architecture at Cambridge. Through sport and other areas of school life, he has not only learned the importance of excellence but has had his character moulded, too: “It’s made me a well-rounded person.”

QE made me more than just a set of grades: it equipped me with the skills I will need in my later life.

The Headmaster added: “Our A-level candidates come from all social, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and their success underlines the fact that QE is a thoroughgoing meritocracy: boys arrive here after succeeding in our competitive admissions process and then benefit from our ongoing commitment to empower all of our pupils to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

“Moreover, our leavers are well-rounded, positively engaged individuals, resilient and equipped to cope when things are not going well – balanced and able to maintain a sense of perspective in life.

“Once again, we have seen very good performances across all departments, while the achievements for Biology, Economics, Further Mathematics and Sociology have been quite extraordinary: six of the seven boys taking Sociology gained an A*, and 94% of our economists achieved A* or A grades.”

Boy gets straight A*s at A level at Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet following bouts of chronic illness – The Barnet Times, Thursday 17 August 2017