GCSE: Whitechapel’s Swanlea hits a high note with galaxy of 183 ‘A stars’

PUBLISHED: 15:51 26 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:35 26 August 2016

Headteacher Brenda Landers and her star Whitechapel 'A Team' at Swanlea Secondary

Headteacher Brenda Landers and her star Whitechapel 'A Team' at Swanlea Secondary

Solomon Paul

Pupils at east London’s Swanlea Secondary in Whitechapel notched up 65 A* grades in their GCSEs and a further 183 at A grade.

Tearful moment of joy for A* pupil Tarin Pasha as she shares the good news with her dad and with Swanlea's head teacherTearful moment of joy for A* pupil Tarin Pasha as she shares the good news with her dad and with Swanlea's head teacher

The 16-year-olds overall were just over half a grade better compared to their forecast assessments when they joined secondary education in Year 7.

“We are really proud of their achievements,” Headteacher Brenda Landers said. “It’s all down to our parents and our incredible staff.

“Many students achieved an average ‘C’ grade in eight subjects or top grades in a wide range of subjects. Many are staying on to study A-Levels.”

Tarin Pasha pulled in eight A*s in biology, chemistry, English, history, maths, media, religious education and Spanish with two A passes.

Nabil ChoudhuryNabil Choudhury

More than six-out-of-10 Swanlea Year 11s got five or more A*-to-C grades including English and maths.

Nabil Choudhury netted nine A*s in biology, chemistry, English, English lit, French, history, maths, religious education and statistics and three A passes.

The government changed how GCSEs were assessed from this year—no longer concerned with just how many top grades each school pulled in.

Instead, its ‘Progress 8’ method is about the improvement each child makes from the first year of secondary school.

Swanlea achieved 0.55 in the new Progress 8 score where individual GCSE performance is compared to what was predicted in Year 7 when the youngsters entered secondary education—almost a grade higher than the national average.

The new system focuses on the progress made during a pupil’s time in secondary education which educationalists regarded as a better way to judge learning standards.

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