THE sixth form at Batley Grammar School went out with a bang with top results for its last students.
In November, 2014, the Carlinghow Hill secondary, a government-backed ‘free school’, revealed plans to shut the sixth form by next month.
The final cohort of just 21 pupils achieved a pass rate of 95 per cent across all subjects. Some 63 per cent of grades awarded were A* to C, more than 30 per cent were A* to B and 13 per cent were A* to A.
The average points score per entry rose to more than 205 and the score per pupil was 635.
It continued the school’s rise in A-Level performance in recent years, despite Government exam reforms and a switch away from the private sector.
The top students were Anastasia Womack and Olivia Marchant, who achieved all A* and A grades. From next month, Batley Grammar becomes a co-educational ‘free school’ for children aged four to 16, with more Year 7 places on offer.
A ‘free school’ is one funded by the Government but run independently of council education authorities. Batley Grammar, founded in 1612, rejoined the state sector as one of the first ‘free schools’ in 2011.
Headteacher Brigid Tullie insisted that the end of the sixth form does not mean a change in the school’s ethos.
A-Level results were so good at Dewsbury’s St John Fisher Academy that most sixth-formers got into their first-choice university – including the elite institutions.
The overall pass rate for academic and vocational qualifications combined was 99 per cent.
More than half of all grades unveiled were at A* to B and 33 per cent were A* to A.
The average points score per pupil was 728, equivalent to three B grades at A-Level.
It meant many got into the top Russell Group universities, such as Manchester and Sheffield.
In the lower sixth form, the pass rate for AS Levels was 91 per cent, with 27 per cent of all grades at A or B.
Nationally there was a fall in the award of top grades across the board for the fifth year running and headteacher Kevin Higgins said of bucking the trend: “There’s no secret. Our pupils have been very well supported by their families and teachers.
“The majority have done very well and achieved at or beyond the expected level.” He added of changes to the exam system: “I know there’s been some horror stories nationally, but our analysis is that this isn’t the case for us.”
Big reforms come in next year, meaning these A-Levels are the last of the current system.
Mr Higgins said: “It’s a difficult time for 16 to 19 education as there are changes which can be confusing for parents and children.
“But our staff are doing their best to guide them through.”
PUPILS at Heckmondwike Grammar School amassed an incredible 268 A* and A grades at A-Level between them.
Excluding general studies, 81 per cent of results were at grade C or better and 70 per cent of these grades were either A*, A or B.
Some 44 students achieved three or more grade A* or A passes while nine students achieved four or more – Rufaidah Ahmad, Oliver Atkinson, Calum Dee, Arun Jassal, Patrick Lord, Abdullah Pakwashee, Callum Radley-Scott, Salma Valli and Robert Wilkinson.
This year there were 247 submissions, 78 per cent of which
TWO schools in North Kirklees came out above the national average for A-Level results – pupils at Mirfield Free Grammar achieved a pass rate of 99 per cent while at Batley Girls’ High it was 98.8 per cent.
Both figures are above the Kirklees district average of 98.7 per cent and national average of 98.1 per cent. And both schools, like Heckmondwike Grammar, are rated outstanding by Ofsted.
At Batley Girls’ High, top performers included Zainab Patel (three A grades) and Safiyyah Hafiji (A, A, B).
English language, history and maths were among the subjects where pupils did particularly well. At Mirfield Free Grammar, Robert Wood gained an A* in maths, A in physics and B in further maths and will now do a maths degree at Leeds University.
He was joined among the star performers by Emily Hardy (A*, B, B, C) who will study marketing at Liverpool John Moores University.
Vice principal Neal Packard said: “We are delighted with the sixth form A- Level results.
“We are proud that our students will now take the skills and knowledge which they have developed with us onto the next step in their career.
“Seeing them flourish during their time in Sixth Form has been a privilege and we look forward to learning how their success continues into the future.”
Kirklees Council cabinet member for schools Coun Masood Ahmed hailed the district’s results.
He said: “There are excellent standards in our schools and colleges and we are proud of the work that takes place.
“Young people are helped to achieve and progress in ways that suit each individual.
“We are also proud of the Ofsted judgements in our schools and colleges. These results further demonstrate the high quality provision in the area.”