All parents of Year 11 – Year 13 will be all too aware that the final exams are well underway and we were keen to give you an update on how they are going. Overall, things are going well, ups-and-downs and bumps-and-grazes along the way, but they do seem to be on track.

The Year 11 exams have the confusion of students either working for a 9 – 1 / A* – G / Distinction* – Pass grade depending on the course they are on. The new ‘tougher’ GCSAEs in English and Maths have certainly been worthy of note. The Foundation Maths paper showing a marked step up and talk of graduate work sneaking onto the higher level paper. Elsewhere, the first English paper did not have major changes, though they are expected on the one just on the horizon.

Meanwhile, our Y12 students have gone through on the last of the AS-Levels, with all our Sixth Formers only doing 2-year courses from now on. Those exams have seemed to be tougher than normal, and in some cases very different in format to previous papers. This does at least mean they will be different for everyone but is still a shock for those sitting them.

Finally, the Y13 exams have got going this week and have generally been fair papers and drawn positive feedback from most students.

Elsewhere, we have seen Year 10 BTEC Sports grades come in superbly well and the recent Year 11 vocational results in V-CERTs, BTEC Sport and ECSDL have been very strong.

OIi Forster, Assistant Headteacher, said: “Certainly, the students and staff have thrown the kitchen sink at these exams with Saturday and Holiday Schools proving sell-outs, revision websites getting mass attention, and staff targeting every student for every grade. Equally, more long-term strategies such as curriculum change and the Learning Hub have borne fruit. Naturally, fingers are all crossed for the August results days but we have every reason to be hopeful.”