Images above: Director of Sixth Form Karen Emmett, with Harry and Mya
Chiswick School is celebrating a ‘significant improvement’ in 2020 A Level results over 2019. A record number of students gained a place at university and others have won apprenticeships in their chosen field. Three students will be heading to Oxford or Cambridge, with many others going to Russell Group universities.
Harry, pictured here with fellow student Mya and Karen Emmett, Director of Sixth Form, achieved an A* in Physics, A* in Maths and A* in Further Maths and will be taking up a place at Cambridge to read Engineering.
Mya, who has been deputy head girl this year, achieved an A in Geography, and A in Psychology and A in Photography. She will be going to Bristol University to study Geography, with a year abroad.
Both have been at the school all the way through from Year 7 and paid tribute to the support and helpfulness of their teachers and the welcoming atmosphere of the Sixth Form. The Maths department felt “like family” said Harry.
‘Despite the unprecedented circumstances, we are delighted to see a significant improvement from last year on the overall results’ said a spokesperson for the school.
“Congratulations to all our students who have done exceptionally well” said Karen Emmett, “including those who have achieved a full suite of A* grades in all their subjects. I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff who also worked extremely hard to support our students on this journey”.
Almost 40% of grades downgraded in England
This year’s results day has been particularly stressful, given the publicity surrounding the ‘downgrading’ of results ‘by computer’. Because there were no exams sat this summer, teachers were asked to predict their students’ grades. These predictions were sent to the exam boards along with a grading, giving a list of pupils in the order of who teachers thought would do best.
The exam boards put together that information with data from previous years. A student’s end result could therefore change from their teacher’s prediction, and relied on accurate record keeping by the school and the scores of the whole cohort. The aim was to make sure the final results were as fair as they could be, consistent with results from previous years, so that teachers couldn’t over inflate their pupils’ achievements, but this system might have disadvantaged the kind of student who coasts along and crams effectively for exams.
It is also claimed that the predictive computer programme designed by exam regulator Ofqual exacerbates social inequality by assuming that pupils in disadvantaged, low-performing schools will do worse than others. Almost 40% of the predicted grades were downgraded. Some students have found their result is two whole grades lower than they were expecting. Many of them feel they’ve been robbed by an algorithm.