There was much delight at St Joseph’s, Launceston as GCSE results were published to pupils and a fantastic 85% of pupils achieved the equivalent of 5 9-4 or A*-C including Maths and English despite the huge national overhaul of examinations and the move to what are held to be the toughest GCSE examinations the system has seen.
Pupils at the non-selective Cornish school showed no sign in letting the new “Gold Standard” GCSEs prevent them from finding success: fully 35% of grades were at Grade 7 or above or at A and A* – a wonderful achievement demonstrating the benefits of small class sizes, excellent teachers and a positive learning environment. The national average for these higher grades was just above 20%.
Amid many individual success stories, some really stood out for both boys and girls, with 9s, 8s and 7s across many subjects. It was very pleasing to see the national picture of boys’ success reflected at St Joseph’s, but with continued very strong performance by the girls.
Meanwhile, one pupil who had been at St Joseph’s since Reception class in 2006 did everyone proud: a wonderful collection of results showing the benefits of an all-through education. With so many pupils having come from the Junior school these were successes for everyone at St Joseph’s to celebrate.
Headmaster Mr Oliver Scott said “It is a real strength of ours that as an Independent School, we are able to focus our resources according to the needs of each cohort, and to support a wide range of subjects, allowing children every possibility of success. There has been a suggestion that reforms have led to reduced subject choice for students and a decline in creative arts and technology entries, and I am delighted this has not been the case here at St Joseph’s.
We offer a full range of subjects, from the arts to the sciences and everywhere in between, and the pupils’ successes across the curriculum show just how important this is. I firmly believe that the confidence, self-belief and sense of self that a pupil gains during their time here at St Joseph’s is such an important aspect of the St Joseph’s experience, and these underpin the excellent academic performances we have seen this year.”
“Our children are drawn from across Cornwall and Devon, and represent the full ability range. While the 7s, 8s and 9s may make the headlines, there are individual success stories at all levels, and we must not forget that so much effort has been put in by pupils for whom examination success is not easy.”
“There is a clear argument that the changes the Government has made may disadvantage some pupils, however I and all staff take great pride in every one of their accomplishments. It is a great strength of the school that these children – some of whom have been here nearly all of their lives – can grow into the young people we celebrate today through their experiences of the vibrant, happy and caring school our ethos describes. I am proud of every one of these children, and look forward to September when we begin the next chapter of the St Joseph’s story.”