Students at Benenden School are celebrating a superb set of GCSE results in which an incredible 50 per cent of all grades were at Level 9 – the highest available.
Six students achieved a clean sweep of straight Level 9s. In total, 23 students in the year group achieved the top grade in at least nine different subjects.
Level 9 was introduced as the highest grade possible a few years ago as part of Government reforms, to represent the very top end of the previous A* grade.
Our top performer, Sarah Witheridge, amassed a total of 13 GCSEs: 12 at Level 9 and one Level 8 grade.
Overall, 50 per cent of all Benenden’s grades today were at Level 9, while 75 per cent were Levels 9-8 and 90 per cent were Levels 9-7 (equivalent to A and above on the old system).
Today’s performance represents Benenden’s best GCSE results since the reformed GCSEs were introduced – they were phased in, starting in 2017 – and are even stronger than the results of the past two years when grades were based on teacher assessed grades during the pandemic. This success is in contrast to the national picture, in which grades have dipped.
Headmistress Samantha Price said: “These are a fantastic set of results that are a credit to the enormous hard work and dedication of all our Year 11 students and to our outstanding teachers and pastoral teams who have supported the year group through their GCSEs. We are less academically selective than many local grammar schools so a 50 per cent Level 9 rate is simply outstanding.
“It is wonderful to see our ethos and approach to supporting young people is also being rewarded by some outstanding academic results. They have been a delight to work with and we are excited to see them developing their skills further in the Sixth Form.”
Mrs Price – who has been shortlisted for the prestigious Headteacher of the Year prize at September’s 2023 Tatler School Awards – added: “Frankly, however, our pride in these results is tinged with disappointment that not every student in the UK was able to benefit from continuity of education throughout the pandemic.
“During Covid, we were in a position to immediately switch to online learning without students missing a single lesson, and this provision continued throughout the pandemic, with students able to join lessons remotely if they were isolating or unable to attend school in person.
“This has certainly been a contributing factor in Benenden’s strong performance this year. If only every student in this country had the same access to educational resource to enable them to achieve their potential.”