We were delighted with our Key Stage 5 outcomes which showed us in ALPS Red for both Year 12 and Year 13 and record results for A*-B (50% A Level and 64% including BTEC). This has led to outstanding progression to university with double the national average attending Russell Group universities including two students attending Cambridge and two students studying medicine.
We were extremely pleased to once again be notably above national averages for the combined English and Maths outcomes. 53% of students gained 9-5 in both English and Maths and 71% gained 9-4. When making estimated comparisons to last year, this is an increase of 6% in the new Good Pass measure and a maintaining at the old Standard Pass measure. Given the increased demands of both English and Maths exams and a switch away from the English iGCSE, this is an achievement of which we are extremely proud. Ebac results continue to be above the national average and our entry policy is to give as many students as possible the chance of gaining these key qualifications.
Our Progress 8 score shows a slight negative result but this does not reflect the achievements of the students. Progress in the key measures in Buckets 1 and 2 was maintained at national expectations despite the changes in GCSE demands. Our Maths progress was highly impressive. Our English progress was slightly lower than expected but we understand why and have already made significant changes to correct this for 2018, including a change of exam board to better match the needs of our students. Progress in Bucket 3 is lower due to our entry policy and learning and teaching strategy which focuses on giving students the key passes that they need in order to progress into Level 3 studies and avoid having to retake English and Maths after Year 11.
This can be seen in the record numbers of students entering our Sixth Form in 2017 (185 students in Year 12), all of whom passed the threshold to study Level 3 courses. It is also a reflection of our policy of giving as many students as possible the chance to gain the Ebac, something that will open doors for them in the future and allow them to compete in the wider world. Our Ebac outcomes are considerably above national averages, including for Pupil Premium students.
At Woolwich Poly, we will always put students before statistics as we are morally driven to treat every child as an individual and do what is best for them even if this results in figures by which others may wrongly judge the school. We will continue with this student-centred focus in the coming years and we are very proud of our students and their achievements.
The P8 score was also affected by a sudden and significant rise in KS2 scores which considerably bucked the national trend and also bucked our baseline CATs trends. This meant that a cohort which showed very similar traits to the previous year’s was seen on paper as being markedly different and which we feel was therefore unfairly judged. Despite these factors, we are still above the national average Progress 8 for boys – we regard this as a remarkable achievement!