New Government reforms at GCSE, designed to toughen up specifications and cut down on the number of students achieving A* grades, have reinforced Merchant Taylors’ position as the top performing school in the area. Over two thirds of all GCSE results are at the highest possible grades of A* A, 7, 8&9 (OFQUAL’s top grade band), a significant improvement on last year’s figures.
This year, students have been marked under the new system with grades one to nine for English Literature, English Language and Maths, whilst the rest of their subjects have been marked under A* to G grades. Nationally the number of students achieving the new level 9 (A** distinction equivalent), reserved for exceptional performance, is lower than students gaining the top marks in previous years but at Merchant Taylors’ an outstanding number of results were achieved at this new standard. Across the Schools twenty two students achieved the highest possible grades in every subject and forty seven students passed GCSE Further Maths, some having taken GCSE Maths a year early. Over three-quarters of them gained the very top marks. Success at Merchant Taylors’ Schools is much more than about exam attainment, the focus is very much on the whole person, and one such example is Amber Cook who has just celebrated her achievement of the top grade in every subject whilst out in Uganda on a voluntary programme to help orphaned children in the war torn area. Headmistress of the Girls’ School, Mrs Louise Robinson said ‘I am delighted with this year’s results and proud of all the girls’ achievements. Amber is a great example of many of our girls who manage to balance their academic work with a wide range of extra-curricular activities and personal interests. Our focus at Merchant Taylors’ Schools is on the rounded individual and the development of personal character.’
Headmaster, Mr Deiniol Williams commented ‘Our boys have done well across the board and many have achieved the highest possible grades under the new system. The exam reforms have presented their challenges but our students and staff have stepped up to the plate and demonstrated their excellence in both knowledge and commitment. On behalf of both Schools I would also like to thank all our parents for their support, we must not forget that this is a memorable day for them too.’
Results have been achieved in 24 different subjects ranging from the core subjects to Art and Computer Science. Whilst the Schools set a demanding curriculum and high standards, offering the most rigorous choices that top employers and universities value, the focus on pastoral care and a varied extra-curricular programme are paramount and just as important as academic success. This aspect was recognised as outstanding in recent Inspections.