As reforms to the exam system make GCSE tougher than ever before, pupils at Benenden School have excelled, achieving an increase in the proportion of top marks.
A third of all results (34 per cent) at Benenden have been awarded the coveted Level 9 – the new top grade introduced as part of Government reforms aimed at making GCSEs more challenging. This has risen from 30 per cent last year.
Overall, 60 per cent of all grades were at Levels 9 and 8, which are equivalent to an A* on the old system. This represents an improvement on last year’s excellent results, when 57 per cent of grades were at this level. Overall, 78 per cent of all grades were at Levels 9-7 (equivalent to an A under the old system).
Headmistress Samantha Price said: “What a wonderful set of results! The girls should be immensely proud that all their enormous hard work and dedication has paid off so incredibly.”
Twenty per cent (18 girls) of the 89 girls in the year achieved nothing less than a Level 8 grade in the subjects graded 9-1.
One girl, Bee McDougall, achieved a clean sweep of 11 grades at Level 9. In addition, she was awarded an A* in her 12th GCSE, Further Maths which is graded under the old system.
Two other girls achieved at least ten of the new Level 9s, with seven more celebrating at least nine Level 9s each.
Mrs Price added: “These reformed GCSEs are designed to challenge students more rigorously than ever before and the Benenden girls have risen admirably to this challenge.
“I am particularly pleased that the girls have achieved these results at the same time as embracing an array of co-curricular activities such as music, sport, drama, outdoor education and volunteering in the local community.”
The school’s value added – what it adds to what a student might be expected to gain – is 1.04. This means for each subject, each girl is gaining on average one whole grade above what she might otherwise have achieved.
Most girls at Benenden take at least ten GCSEs, complementing this with some optional qualifications such as the Extended Project, a short course in economics and financial literacy accredited by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a Further Maths qualification and the chance to study other languages such as Russian, Arabic, Korean and Japanese.