GCSE joy for Jewish schools


Jewish schools have recorded another strong performance at GCSE, with a dramatic improvement in particular at Kantor King Solomon High School in Redbridge.

The Essex comprehensive is celebrating its best set of GCSE results with more than three-quarters of pupils, 77 per cent, achieving five or more GCSEs at A* to C including maths and English – the standard national performance measure – compared to 57 per cent last year.

Its previous best was 71 per cent eight years ago.

Matthew Slater, King Solomon head teacher, said the results were “a testament to the focus, determination, skill and tenacity of our teaching staff and our students.

“This school has been through a journey, and I am honoured to have led it to this record breaking point.”

Earlier this year Ofsted upgraded the school from one requiring improvement to “good”.

Mr Slater said: “We have focused on the core skills of numeracy and literacy.”

He singled out the results for GCSEs in Jewish studies, where 85 per cent of students received an A* to C pass. While around two-thirds of the school’s population is Jewish, all children take Judaism for GCSE.
“To get that result is unbelievable,” he said.

Nationally, A*-C passes dropped by 2.1 per cent this year, with A*-A passes down by 0.7 per cent to 20.5 per cent this year. However, this is the first year where those who failed to gain at least a C in English and maths last summer had to retake the exam.

At King David High School Manchester, half the results were at grade A or above, while 39 pupils gained at least 8 As or above.

The stand-out performance was from twins Sharon and Simeon Kudenko from Leeds. Sharon achieved not only 12 A*s and a A but also an A^, a special grade recognising distinction in further maths which is above an A*. Her brother collected 12 A*s and 2As.

Overall, 96 per cent of pupils achieved at least five GCSEs from A* to C including English and maths.
Joshua Rowe, King David’s chairman, said the trends have been “virtually the same for 15 years, they are remarkably consistent”.

While 96 per cent of pupils at Immanuel College in Bushey also gained at least five GCSEs from A* to C including English and maths, 55 per cent attained the “English baccalaureate” level, a suite of subjects that includes either history or geography, a foreign language and double science. It was the college’s second highest EBacc figure.

Students also produced their highest average points score per subject at 50.8 (an A is equivalent to 52 points, B 46).

Pupils were on song too at Yavneh College in Borehamwood with 45 per cent of passes at A* and A. Over 82 per cent achieved at least five A*-Cs including English and maths.

Yavneh head Spencer Lewis said the results were “a source of great pride for our entire school community”.
There was also cause to celebrate at JFS where 50 per cent of passes were at A or above and 83 per cent gaining five or more A*-Cs including English and maths.

Headteacher Debby Lipkin and her senior team said their students “truly deserve these outstanding grades”.

Five students at JCoSS achieved A^s in further maths at JCoSS. The cross-communal school’s second GCSE group achieved just under 40 per cent of passes at A or above and 79 per cent at least five A*-C passes including English and maths.

JCoSS head Patrick Moriarty said the results “confirm our place on the map of high-performing schools, and shows the strength in depth that comes from the hard work and dedication of our staff and students alike.”

Hasmonean High School has also cause to celebrate with 53 per cent attaining A or above and 61 per cent reaching EBacc level; 79 per cent achieved at least five A*-C including English and maths.

Andrew McClusky, the executive head, said it was "wonderful to see both our brightest students and those who find academic study more challenging all achieving outstanding results".

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