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Skipton Girls' High School is sixth best in the country
2:22pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
Skipton Girls’ High School was ranked as the sixth best performing school in the country at GCSE level last year.
The performance tables, published on Friday, also contained some notable successes for other Craven schools.
In North Yorkshire, Skipton Girls’ – a selective school – topped the table, with 100 per cent of eligible pupils achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and an average points score of 721.3.
Just behind, in second place, was fellow selective school, Ermysted’s Grammar, where 98 per cent of pupils achieved the benchmark five GCSEs and had an average points score of 577.6.
But their fortunes were reversed at A-level, with Ermysted’s taking top honours in North Yorkshire, wiith an average points score of 1097.6, and Skipton Girls’ in fourth place with 1026.9.
Jan Renou, executive head of Skipton Girls’, said: “We’re delighted for our girls – gaining Olympic individual results along with new records for the school.
“Working collaboratively with students’ own imaginative ideas and commitment, we’re able to develop a creative and innovative approach to teaching and learning. The statistics follow.”
And Graham Hamilton, head of Ermysted’s, said: “The A-level results in 2012 were outstanding and well-deserved for such an excellent cohort of boys. Ninety four per cent cent of results were graded A* to C and 56 per cent of the grades were A* to A. We are delighted to be able to play an important part in the boys’ careers and ensuring they achieved the necessary grades for the next steps in their lives.
“Sixty boys (54 per cent) secured places at Russell Group universities and a further nine secured places at one of the ‘1994 Group’ universities.”
Public school Giggleswick finished 11th in the county table at GCSE, with 80 per cent of pupils achieving the benchmark five good GCSEs and an average points of 459.9, and was 23rd in the A-level table, with an average points score of 214.2.
There were also some good results for Craven’s comprehensive schools.
Upper Wharfedale at Threshfield finished in 18th place in the county, with 73 per cent of its pupils achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and an average point score of 631.6.
Headteacher Andrew Taylor said: “We are, of course, delighted with Upper Wharfedale School’s standing in the performance tables, although we must recognise that they are only a limited measure of success.
“Each school's particular context, cohort and values in relation to the curriculum offered is of equal importance, especially when making decisions about key stage four courses, which may or may not count towards these in the future.
“Nevertheless, we are delighted with our best ever headline figures including English and maths, and we take particular pride in our value added score this year, which places us highest in North Yorkshire in terms of student progress, and within the top two per cent of schools nationally.”
Settle College – which accepted its first year seven pupils this year – was among the top 200 most improved schools in the country and among the top three most improved in North Yorkshire.
With 72 per cent of pupils achieving five good GCSEs, including English and maths, it finished 20th in North Yorkshire and had an average point score of 587.7.
It also did reasonably well at A-level, with a point score of 738.2 putting it into 26th place.
Principal William Bancroft said: “It is a fantastic achievement, particularly given the enormous changes that have been taking place in education in North Craven. The students and staff have had to contend with building work and job changes - so their results are even more impressive.
“It is the culmination of years of hard work, making sure the curriculum is right for the students, there is a balance between vocational and academic subjects, students are well briefed in what they need to do and teachers work in the right way.”
In 33rd place in the county, South Craven School saw 62 per cent of students gaining the benchmark five good GCSEs including English and maths, with an average points score of 516.6. And, at A-level, it had a points score of 747.1, lifting it into 25th posiition.
Headteacher Dr Andrew Cummings said: “We were delighted to celebrate excellent results in the summer.
“Frustratingly, there is no publication of the progress measures calculated by Ofsted, which show our results to be in the top 15 per cent nationally.
“More worryingly is the inclusion of new measures at A level, where the percentages gaining A*, A and B in ‘enabling subjects’ are now being published as an indicator – schools were unaware of this when students first selected their courses.
“Once again, politicians are trying to use these performance tables to shift students towards a narrow curriculum, as is the case with the English Baccalaureate at age 14 to 16. We believe these choices should be left to students and their parents, and that they should be informed by what is the best route for their individual success.”
Aireville School headteacher Mark O’Neill also criticised the tables, saying they did not adequately reflect the breadth of achievement at a school like Aireville, which had improved year on year and would continue to meet the needs of a very wide range of learners.
Thirty nine per cent of its eligible pupils gained five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and they had an average points score of 504.7.
Mr O’Neill added: “Aireville’s results have improved significantly over recent years and we were disappointed that the change from linear to modular mathematics had a negative impact on our results. However, we have now returned to the linear course and several students improved their summer grades through autumn resits and coaching from the school. We will be back on track next year.
“Aireville remains proud of the numbers of students achieving very well with an average total point score, which is significantly above the national average and a very good indicator of the breadth of achievement across the whole ability range.”
Across in Barnoldswick, West Craven High saw 53 per cent of pupils, gaining five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and a points score of 443.3.
Headteacher Arnold Kuchartschuk said of the results: “We welcome them as a school. They provide a lot of information for parents and can help them identify trends within a school. Obviously we are pleased with the improvement trend established over the last three years and are seeking to build on that with the current year 11 - who have already out performed last year’s group with their early entry maths GCSE results.”
Also included in the tables was Craven College, whose average point score for A-levels and BTEC National Diploma Awards totalled 602.9.
Principal Robert Bellfield said: “The college is delighted with the success of its A-level and BTEC National Diploma students in achieving their awards and securing progression on to specialist degrees at Craven College, to the university of their choice and to employment.”