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Year 11 students at King’s College, Taunton, were celebrating a very strong set of GCSE grades on Thursday, with some of them amongst the top achievers in the country. Four of the students, Eleanor Clark, Guy Milton-Jenkins, Lottie Knill and Freya Jenkinson, pulled off the astonishing feat of achieving ten or more 9s or A*s; Guy, Lottie and Freya getting ten, and Eleanor eleven.

In all, twelve students managed a full set of ten or more grades equivalent to A*s and As (i.e. A*, A, 9, 8, or 7): Camilla Campbell-Smith, William Chesterman, Joss Chippendale, Eleanor Clark, George Glanville, Freya Jenkinson, Lottie Knill, Guy Milton-Jenkins, Réshma Rao, Thomas Richardson-Jones, Henry Smeed and Lydia Thornhill.

Overall the students achieved an A*/A/9/8/7 rate of 50%, a significant improvement on the previous year’s results. As with the excellent A level results the week before, success came in a wide range of subjects. All students passed maths, with an astounding 71% getting 7s, 8s or 9s. Other subjects that fared particularly well were (percentage A*/A or 9/8/7) English literature (55%), biology (61%), chemistry (61%), design technology (58%), Latin (79%) and physics (61%).

The Headmaster, Richard Biggs, was delighted with the results: “Coming a week after our best-ever set of A level grades these excellent GCSEs are the icing on the cake, and confirm our credentials as an academically ambitious and successful school. I know just how much hard work has gone into achieving these results and I must, first and foremost, congratulate the year 11 students on their hard work and good cheer in managing what is always a challenging year. All of them have continued to throw themselves into school life while sustaining a ferocious pace of revision and exam preparation. With this GCSE hurdle out of the way they can look forward to revelling in the subjects they have chosen for A level or BTEC study in the Sixth Form, and enjoy the freedom and independence that the next two years will bring. They are an impressive bunch and I look forward to seeing them setting the pace and making their mark on this school in the coming terms.”

The Deputy Head, Academic, Jonty Lawford, added: “These excellent grades also speak volumes for the dedication and expertise of our teaching staff, who have inspired and supported the students over the past years. They deserve the warmest praise for the hours and hours they have spent, not just preparing their classes for these exams, but also for developing in each student a passion for their subjects and a deep, long-lasting appreciation for learning in general that will serve them well for their future studies here and at university.”

As a way of comparing the school’s results with academically more selective schools elsewhere in the country, results for the top 50 students have been analysed. These show a very impressive rate of 79% % at A*/A/9/8/7, which would place King’s College firmly amongst the top academic schools in the country.