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King’s pupils are celebrating an excellent set of GCSE results this week. The school has improved significantly on last year’s results, with the A*/A grade rate up 10%, and will once again be one of the leading schools in the county at this level.

Bailey Cameron tops this year’s GCSE table with an impressive clean sweep of ten A* grades and a score of 9 in Maths (the highest possible score in the new syllabus). Bailey has just returned from a one-month school exchange programme in South Africa in time to hear the wonderful news of her achievement. She will join the King’s College Sixth Form in September to study Biology, Maths, Chemistry and Latin.

Other outstanding performances came from Eliza Chapple, who achieved nine A*s, one A and an 8 in Maths; and Emily Knill, Zac Stickland and Edward Hayden-Briffett all gained eight A*s and one A grade each and 8s or 9s in Maths. Edward and his twin brother, Andrew, accumulated a total of twelve A*s, six As and an 8 and a 9 between them.

A further seven pupils achieved straight A*s and As and the equivalent of A*s and As in Maths (grades 7-9): Mikhail Vtornikov, Thomas Clark, Molly Smith, Freddy Thornhill, Henry Adcock, Harriet Fox and Flora Keeling.

A number of these pupils’ achievements are made all the more impressive by the fact they have been heavily involved in the wider life of the school: Zac Stickland completed the Ten Tors 35-mile Challenge and was part of last year’s winning Royal Marines Pringle Trophy team. Molly Smith, Harriet Fox and Flora Keeling also took part in the Ten Tors Challenge, and compete at a high level in a number of sports, including athletics, with Flora also enjoying taking part in a number of school musicals. Eliza Chapple, an outstanding rider, competes in eventing at a national level, managing effectively to juggle her sport and her academic life. Henry Adcock, an excellent trumpeter, is also deeply involved in the musical life of the school.

Departments which performed particularly well in their the A*/A rates included Music, which achieved a stellar 100%, as did Chinese. Chemistry, German and Latin all achieved above 70% in this measure. Maths was one to watch this year, with changes to the syllabus and grading system. King’s pupils did well, with 47% getting A* or A grades.

In total 13 departments have achieved an A* to B pass rate of over 75%: Biology, Chemistry, Chinese, Design Technology, Drama, English Literature, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, PE and Physics.

Headmaster, Richard Biggs, was delighted with the results. “These are very strong results from our Fifth Form pupils, representing two years of solid academic effort and, just as importantly, real interest in their studies. The academic high-fliers have, as usual, covered themselves in A*s and a great deal of glory, and deserve our highest praise, but so do those who have worked extremely hard to gain good, solid passes at this level and go on to join our Sixth Form with some real success under their belts. I congratulate all our pupils whole-heartedly. I am proud of the fact that they managed to sustain an extraordinary level of commitment to the wider life of the school during what is always a tough year, and remained cheerful and committed throughout. The great majority of these pupils are returning to our Sixth Form, to be joined by new pupils from across the UK and further afield, and will form the core of an exciting and vibrant year group.”

“I am also proud of the fact that our pupils have succeeded in academically demanding subjects. In light of the new, more rigorous syllabus we are pleased with our Maths results. At a time when schools are facing huge changes to curriculums and examinations it is enormously heartening to see an undiminished appetite in our pupils for the challenge of real, exciting, difficult academic work. They, like this school, will take whatever changes come their way in their stride.”

King’s College is holding an Open Day on Saturday, 7 October 2017. Please contact the Registrar, Kate Rippin, on 01823 328204 – admissions@kings-taunton.co.uk

Photographer: Ivan Schmidt