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GCSE: Bethnal Green’s Morpeth Secondary up to challenge of exam changes

PUBLISHED: 21:58 25 August 2016 | UPDATED: 21:59 25 August 2016

Bethnal Green's Morpeth Secondary [Google image]

Bethnal Green's Morpeth Secondary [Google image]

Google

Any confusion over the change in the way schools’ performances are now assessed with today’s GCSE results hasn’t stopped Bethnal Green’s Morpeth Secondary reaching for the stars.

Max Jayatillake (left) and Joe Wethersek get their GCSE results Max Jayatillake (left) and Joe Wethersek get their GCSE results

The Bethnal Green school had outstanding results with many pupils getting A*s and As under their belt.

Max Jayatillake, for example, received all A* and As, including A*s in maths and computing.

“This is great—just what I need,” he said. “I want a career in programming and these results give me the key to every single door in the industry.”

His classmate Joe Wethersek’s results included two A*s and three As. He goes on to study A-Level maths and physics after being “delighted” with his results.

Nafisa Chowdhury Nafisa Chowdhury

Nafisa Chowdhury achieved an A* in ICT and four As in maths, design technology, English literature and science.

She said: “I can now study what I want and hopefully be successful in the future.”

Holly Ha opened her envelope to find she had six A*s and two As. She eventually wants to read History at university.

She said: “My maths teacher managed to get me up from B grade to A in just a year.”

Holly Ha Holly Ha

Pupils were being assessed this year by their progress since Year 7 with government figures looking at progress since being assessed when they arrived in their first year in secondary education.

National league tables had previously measured how many schools got A* to C grades.

But now emphasis is on how each pupil has improved since that first assessment—if they were estimated to get an A and two Bs, for example, but went on to get three As instead, the school gets a ‘plus’ rating for the child, bringing up the overall place on the new league table.

That change of emphasis has actually helped Morpeth. Headteacher Jemima Reilly said: “Attainment by the new measures is up, compared to last year.”

The switch is seen as an incentive for schools to make sure even the least able child improves their exam performance rather than a ‘race’ to see which one scores the most A*s. Morpeth seemed up to the new challenge.

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