Matthew Burns

A* FOR A GRADE SUCCESS

We are in excellent form this morning at Sedbergh. Whatever may be happening throughout the rest of the country, our Upper Sixth has secured more A* and A grades than has ever previously been the case and 55 per cent of grades awarded were between A* and B. 

As the academic year came to a close in July, I received a letter from the Chief Regulator of Examinations warning me and all other Headteachers of the changes to the pattern of examination results. This arose from changes to modular A level examinations and the likely outcome would be fewer A*s and As. Whilst quietly confident about the progress made by this group of pupils, there was a degree of uncertainty until we received the results yesterday. 

Particular congratulations are due to Roger Strachan (3A*), Nathan Kelly, Jonathan Mells, Francis Sinclair and Robert Stevenson (2 A*s, 1 A), and on our BTEC Sports Management course, Phillipa Hill (3A*) and Kitty Wilson (2 A*, 1A). A total of 10 per cent of pupils gained straight A grades. This means that Housemasters and Housemistresses have been able to give positive news to pupils, most of whom already knew they had been accepted by their chosen University. 

We are working with the small minority who have not yet been accepted – for a variety of reasons including requests for re-marks. The media is reporting plenty of opportunities in Clearing and there is a sense that the old, familiar format of offer – results – acceptance is changing into a more fluid market post results.

Numbers going to University this year could top 500,000 by the end of the Ucas cycle, according to Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive Officer. She says: “Today’s numbers are a reflection of the continuing strong demand for higher education … The investment that these young people are making in their personal growth means that they position themselves for a more fulfilling life and career.”

Our pupils have secured places to study undergraduate courses at some of the world’s leading academic institutions, including Imperial College London, Durham University and University of St Andrews. We look forward to following the careers of the newest generation of Old Sedberghians. 

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