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Following on from last week’s A Level success, King’s College is celebrating the achievements of their GCSE candidates this week.

The new-look assessment system, with numbers replacing the old letter grades in all subjects except English (King’s College enters pupils for IGCSE English, which still uses letter grades), make comparisons with previous years difficult but it is clear that the King’s pupils have taken the new, more challenging GCSE courses in their stride. Overall, almost 40% of the exams taken attracted either grades A* or A, or a grade 7 or better. Twelve pupils achieved an impressive nine grades at A*, A, 9, 8 or 7 (roughly equivalent to the old As and A*s). Six achieved straight A*, A, 7, 8, or 9: Oliver Biggs, Ellie Clist, Lucy MacGillivray, William Smeed, Alec Sprague and Henry Vijayaratnam.  Oliver Biggs achieved the equivalent of a clean sweep of A*s, with two A*s, six 9s and two 8s.

Particularly impressive is that many of these academic high-fliers have also been involved in sport at a very high level over the past year. Ellie Clist is a talented rider who competes in various disciplines and is a member of the King’s Schools Equestrian team.  William Smeed is on the Somerset County Cricket Club (SCCC) Academy and has appeared for the club’s senior 2nd XI this season.  Alec Sprague is an England Hockey Performance Centre player and Oliver Biggs is also a county hockey player.  Alice Dymond, who achieved an A*, five 8s and a 7, is a county cricketer in the SCCC Girls’ Under 17 team.

Departments which performed particularly well, judging by their percentage of grades 7 or better, include biology (49%), chemistry 58%), drama (59%), geography, (52%), music (50%) and textiles (100%).

Headmaster, Richard Biggs, commented: “I congratulate the GCSE candidates warmly on their achievement. They have managed the transition to a new-look GCSE curriculum with energy and lots of hard work and should be proud of the grades they have secured. For all of them, these results will form a solid base on which to build as they begin their A Level or BTEC studies in September.  I am delighted that the great majority of this hard-working and talented cohort are returning to the King’s Sixth Form, to be joined by an intake of about 30 new students, and I know they will lead the way on the academic and co-curricular fronts. I wish all our Lower Sixth students plenty of success as they embark on the next two, exciting, years of study at King’s”.

“I also thank my staff for the professionalism and dedication they have shown in coming to grips with the new GCSEs and the care they have shown in supporting their pupils in preparing for the exams.”

“Having enjoyed a particularly good inspection last year, in which King’s was rated excellent in all areas, it is good to have that judgment confirmed by these very pleasing A level and GCSE results.”


Photographer: Ivan Schmidt