Family & Education

After the A-levels chaos, bumper GCSE results

Jewish schools bask in their pupils’ achievements 


Jewish schools have reaped the benefits of the government’s change of heart on exams, enjoying a bumper crop of GCSEs. 

JCoSS trumpeted “stunning” success, Immanuel college “a marvellous outcome” and King David High School Manchester “an outstanding set of results”.

After the anguish and anger over A-level results, schools were free to bask in their pupils’ achievements 

Earlier this week the outcry over A-levels led to a U-turn, forcing the government to accept teacher-assessed grades and abandon attempts to adjust them using a computer model developed by the exam regulator Ofqual. 

The top-performing state-aided Jewish schools, in terms of the proportion of top grades, were London’s Hasmonean: the girls achieved 68 per cent of grades at 9 to 7, and the boys 60 per cent.

Hasmonean girls attained 97 per cent of GCSEs at 4 to 9, and the boys 93 per cent.

Andrew McClusky, chief executive of the Hasmonean Multi-Academy Trust, said, “This has been an especially unusual year but the one thing that has not been unusual is that we have many reasons to feel proud of our students. They have coped extremely well in the face of unprecedented challenges.”

At King David Manchester, more than a third of GCSEs – 37 per cent – were passed at the top two grades, 9 and 8, and more than half – 56 per cent – the top three, 9, 8 and 7. (The old A*s and As were split into three grades under a new system). 

Jack Moss topped the table with 10 grade 9s and one 8: Jessica Blankstone, Abigail Hurst and Ben Joseph attained 10 grade 9s: Hannah Joels nine 9s, an 8 and a 7: Georgia Lesser nine 9s and an 8: Lucy Singer nine 9s:  Joseph Seitler, eight 9s, two 8s and an A*: Rosy Akalawu-Ellman, Ethan Harris, Tali Levene and Sophie Seitler eight 9s and two 8s; and Libbi Rubens eight 9s and an 8. 

At JCoSS, close to one in five grades – 19 per cent – were at grade 9, a third at 8 or 9 and half at 7 or above.  

Over a quarter of GCSEs in Jewish education, biology, physics, chemistry, media, French were at Grade 9 – and 88 per cent in Additional Maths. 

The percentage of results at Grade 5 (a “strong pass”) has increased to over 83 per cent. The highest fliers at JCoSS were Hannah Smith with eleven 9s and Joel Klein 10 9s and an A*:  Harry Leibling-Blitz and Adam Tyler 10 9s: Dinah Lewis, Eitan Richards and Emma Segal nine  9s: Jessica Jacobs and Ava Tish eight 9s and two 8s:  Nathan Hekster and Miri Nogradi eight 9s and one 8. 

JCoSS headteacher Patrick Moriarty commented: ‘We rejoice at the excellent results that our students have achieved – both in raw outcomes and in meeting and exceeding personal goals. They have faced huge uncertainty and difficulty since schools closed in March, and especially during the past week’s confusion over the awarding of results.” 

The school had “ advocated strongly for the use of teacher grades, based as they were on a rigorous, professional and painstaking process,” he said.  We are pleased that the change of policy came in time to reward these students with clarity and greater fairness.” 

A tiny minority of grades had been adjusted upwards through the moderation process, the school said. 

Immanuel College announced the best results in its history with 34 students achieving an average grade 8. 

Eighty-eight per cent of GCSEs were graded 6 to 9, of which over half were 9 or 8. 

Gary Griffin, Immanuel’s headmaster, said, “This is a marvellous outcome for a year group which has had to cope with pandemic disruption and government incompetence. It is therefore gratifying to see such a large proportion of the cohort joining our sixth Form in September.” 

More than a third of the GCSEs attained at Yavneh College - 35 per cent - were at 9 and 8 grades: 54 per cent at 9,8 and 7: and 87 per cent from 5 to 9.

Executive headteacher Spencer Lewis commented, "After an incredibly difficult 6 months, pupils have finally received their GCSE results. The constant changes in government and exam board policies and approach over recent days have been very unfair on the pupils but today is a day to celebrate.

"Yavneh College pupils worked hard for their GCSEs, they completed mock exams, ongoing assessments and a huge amount of work all marked by their teachers, who were then able to assess each and every student and assign them an appropriate grade."

Star performers at the college this summer were Lila Chernick, Jonah Horne, Joshua Morris and Matthew Zucker, all with ten 9s: Natalie Hartog and Benjamin Moont with nine 9s and an 8: and Amelia San, nine 9s.

JFS said it had maintained “the excellent trend of student attainment over the last few years” with 37 per cent of all grades awarded at grades 9 and 8; 57 per cent at grades 9 to 7: and 90 per cent at grades 5 to 9  

In maths and religious studies, one in five students achieved the highest grade, as did a third of students in biology, chemistry and physics.

A small number of grades were moderated up by the exam board., the school said.

Headteacher Rachel Fink said:  "We are thrilled that so many of our students have had their hard work and progress over two years recognised and rewarded by their teachers, who have come to know them very well, despite not being able to demonstrate their skills and abilities through examinations.

"We are equally proud of the progress of students of all abilities and in keeping with our tradition commenced last year, are not releasing the names and grades of individual high attaining students."   

At Kantor King Solomon, threequarters of grades were from 9 to 4 with nearly a third -31 per cent - at 9 to 7.

Eleven student attained grades 9 to 7 in all their subjects: Alessia Bowman, Francesca Bowman, Sam Chevin, Amna Farooq, Sam Feldman, Jake Hare, Amaani Rahman, Jasminda Tania, Matilda Villa and Salvinda Zahir.

Headteacher Hannele Reece said, “It has been a very difficult year for students who should have taken public examinations this summer. I am very proud of all the work our students and teachers have put in to make these fantastic results possible."




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