At the outset of my first year as Principal we set out some very clear expectations with a view to raising standards across the school and to align our expectations with the capabilities of our outstanding young people.
Many aspects of the schools attainment outcomes – the percentage of pupils who achieve certain grades – have been in line with national average; in some subjects areas such as Art, Digital Art, Dance and Music figures at Penketh have consistently exceeded national average figures for attainment over a number of years. More recently, subjects such as English, Maths and the separate science subjects have improved their attainment figures so that pupil outcomes are in line with national performance.
This year we have seen further improvements in attainment measures for other subject areas such as French who have demonstrated consecutive attainment improvement since poor outcomes in 2016. Computer Science too, this year have doubled attainment performance for the proportion of pupils achieving 9-4 grades compared to last year and now sit above the national average figures released earlier today. There have been some outstanding performances in relation to the percentage of pupils who have achieved a grade between 4 and 9 at GCSE this year (effectively grades equivalent to a C grade or better as we’re more accustomed to saying!).
Digital Art 100%
We’ve also consolidated performances in line with the national average for pupils achieving at least a grade 4 (C) in Maths and in English whilst our performance for pupils achieving at least a grade 4 in combined sciences, history and French exceeded our expectations.
In recent years there has been as shift to judging schools based on the progress pupils make between the end of Year 6 and the end of Year 11, rather than the proportion of pupils who achieve at least a grade 4 or C. This is to ensure schools are focused on supporting pupils to achieve the grade that they are capable of achieving. As a school we have needed to improve the number of our pupils accessing higher grades.
This year our results demonstrate significant improvements relating to pupils achieving these higher grades, with 75% of subjects improving the proportion of pupils achieving at least a 7 (A) grade. In a number of subjects this improvement was significant; all three separate science subjects, Maths and Geography for example doubled the proportion of pupils achieving these grades in comparison to last year.
Overall, 40% of our pupils achieved 7-9 grades, 20% of pupils achieved 8-9 grades, 10% of pupils achieved at least 6 to grades at 7-9 and 25% of pupils achieved at least 7 grades at grade 5 and above.
This year more of our pupils achieved higher grades and received more of them. This has resulted in an improvement in our progress figures and more importantly the life chances and of our outstanding young people who have given themselves an excellent platform with which to go an achieve great things.
There were some outstanding individual performances;
Jake Keller achieved 7 grade 9 outcomes, 2 grade 8 outcomes and a grade 7.
Harry Barber achieved 4 grade 9 outcomes, 4 grade 8 outcomes, a grade 7 and a grade A.
Isabelle Griffiths achieved 3 grade 9 outcomes, 5 grade 8 outcomes and 3 grade 7 outcomes.
These examples represent a small sample from a number of success stories this year that were all built on a foundation of hard work and the commitment of both pupils and staff who have worked closely across the year. We believe in our pupils and their capabilities and the improvements in our outcomes this year, particularly the significant improvement in the proportion of pupils achieving the very highest grades, tangibly demonstrates that they are capable of great things.
The staff are committed to continue to driving the school forward so that we secure the very best for our outstanding young people to enable them go on and continue to achieve great things beyond Penketh. We continue to maintain a culture of high expectation at the school so that we can support our pupils in realising their potential and capabilities.
Year 11, you have earned your successes and we’re exceptionally proud of you and your achievements. The smiling faces, gasps of joy as you opened your envelopes, looks of pride as you shared results with friends and family and the passion and excitement with which you talked about your plans for next year remind us all why we do the job that we do; it’s those moments that remind us that we are lucky to work in our profession – so thank you for that! I’m pleased that you can enjoy the remainder of the summer with a sense of pride before embarking on the next exciting stage of your lives; for which I wish you all the very best. You’re always welcome back at Penketh and we look forward to hearing about your continued success.
You’ve heard us say it all year, but hopefully now you agree with us – success feels good!
Mr J Carlin,