This year’s GCSE results are St James’ strongest to date, building on previous high levels of performance that have been sustained for a significant number of years. This continued improvement has been achieved in a year when nearly all subjects are now following new style GCSEs which are 100% exam and seen as significantly more challenging and rigorous. Headlines figures show that 55% of students are leaving with a grade 9-5 in English & Maths (the government’s ‘Basics’ benchmark measurement for a ‘strong’ pass) and 73% with a grade 9-4 in English & Maths (a ‘standard’ pass). 81% of students have achieved a 4 or above in English, and 67% a 5 or above, whilst in Maths 82% have achieved a 4 or above, and 66% a 5 or above. 55% of students have achieved at least five ‘strong’ 9-5 passes including English & Maths with 69% achieving at least five grade 9-4 ‘standard’ passes including English & Maths.

The school’s recognised success in the Ebacc (due to its aspirant and academic curriculum) has also further improved this year. 36% of all students achieved a ‘strong’ pass in the Ebacc qualification (meaning they secured grades 9-5 in an English, Maths, Science, Language and Humanities GCSE) and 54% of all students achieved at least a ‘standard’ pass of grade 9-4 in the same suite of subjects. The high percentage of students entered for the Ebacc (73%) and the strong achievement in French (32% 9-7, 64% 9-5, 84% 9-4) are two of the reasons why St James has been asked to become an MFL Hub by the Department for Education (one of only nine hubs in the country). For more information on this exciting development, please see http://www.stjamesexeter.co.uk/latestnews/3666/.

Over 12% of all grades awarded were grades 8 & 9 and 25% of all grades awarded were 9-7. These top grades were achieved across all subjects with the following grade 9-7%: Biology 80%, Chemistry 75%, Physics 75%, Computing 35%, French 32%, Music 31%, Maths 30%, Media Studies 29%, English Language & Literature 27%, iArt (photography) 25%, Geography 21%, History 20%, Food Nutrition 20% and Religious Studies 20%. There were a number of individual successes including: Bessie Dunn (11 x 9-7 incl. 8 grade 9), Cameron Smith (11 x 9-7), Emily Burnett (10 x 9-7 incl. 5 grade 9), Joe Read (10 x 9-7 incl. 3 grade 9), Krzys Samus (10 x 9-7 incl. 2 grade 9), Kayla Rudd (10 x 9-7 incl. 5 grade 9), Milly Evans (10 x 9-7 incl. 7 grade 9), Elliot Groombridge (10 x 9-7 incl. 3 grade 9), Bethan Gratton (10 x 9-7), Amir Kahana (10 x 9-7 incl. 5 grade 9), Caitlin Mold (10 x 9-7 incl. 1 grade 9), Fintan Mold (10 x 9-7 incl. 2 grade 9), Mohamad Alsadhan (9 x 9-7 incl. 6 grade 9), Nathan Castillo (8 x 9-7 incl. 1 grade 9), Nathan Ferris (8 x 9-7 incl. 3 grade 9), Holly Truman (8 x 9-7), Alexander Tabacariu (7 x 9-7), Safiyah Khalil (7 x 9-7), Aaron Coombes (7 x 9-7 incl. 1 grade 9), and Oscar Fox (7 x 9-7).

Amy Grashoff, Headteacher, is immensely proud of her students’ achievements. “I am absolutely delighted and so unbelievably proud of our year 11s and all that they have achieved. In a year where the majority of them have sat over 20 exams, their stunning results reflect their resilience, determination and unwavering effort to do their best. They have certainly risen to the challenge of the new GCSEs and I am exceptionally proud of each and every one of them and what they have achieved. It has been a true team effort, as it is every year, with students, staff and parents working together to ensure that all our students have the best possible experience at school and achieve excellent outcomes – academic, sporting and artistic – and this year shows what an impact that team approach can have. The maturity and independence they have shown this year with regards to their learning leaves me in no doubt that that they will go on to even greater successes in the next stage of their education. I wish them all the luck in the world.

Analysis of the grade 9-4 results, as with the grade 9-7 results, shows a high level of achievement across all subjects: Biology 100%, Physics 100%, Chemistry 100%, Health & Social Care 100%, IT User Skills 100%, Computing 96%, French 83%, Maths 82%, English Language & Literature 81%, Media Studies 76%, Geography 75%, Art 72%, Combined Science 71%, , Music 69% and Religious Studies 68%. This cross-curriculum success is a priority at St James as it is fundamental in ensuring that all students are able to pursue their first choice of courses in post-16 education. It also facilitates numerous cases of individual successes as students are given a chance to make exceptional progress in those subjects that they really excel at, as evidenced by 47% of students achieving at least one 7-9 grade.