A News story by Ellena Schuster-Farrell 23 August 2018

With improvements in pass rates at a number of our academies, and many pupils achieving the top marks in a variety of subjects, E-ACT staff and students have plenty to be proud of on key stage 4 results day.

Trust-wide, over half of E-ACT’s students have achieved a standard pass (9-4) in both mathematics and English (either literature or language), with 55% of students achieving a standard pass (9-4) in mathematics and 59% achieving a standard pass (9-4) in English language.

Special mentions for E-ACT academies

While results across the trust have given us plenty to cheer this morning, we take this opportunity to highlight exceptional academy performance.

Heartlands Academy

  • In 2018, 70% of students have achieved at least 4+ in English and mathematics, rising from 60% just last year.
  • We’re also delighted to report that Heartlands students have performed exceptionally well in English language, with 98% achieving at least 4+ and 85% achieving at least 5+!
  • In mathematics, 70% of students have achieved a standard pass (9-4).

Willenhall E-ACT Academy

  • Experienced the biggest jump of any E-ACT academy in the standard pass rate (9-4) in both mathematics and English this year, rising from 39% last year to 52% this year.

The Crest Academy

  • 65% of students at The Crest have achieved at least 4+ in English and mathematics.
  • 50% of students have achieved at least 5+ (a strong pass) in English and mathematics, rising from 40% last year.

What exactly has changed this year?

There are two main changes to be aware of:

  • The new numerical grading system
  • New and tougher GCSEs across the board

Numerical grading

The new numerical grading system that was in place for English language, English literature and mathematics last year has now been rolled out across an additional 20 subjects.

So, how does it work?

  • Traditional letter grades (A*-G) have been replaced by numerical grades, where 9 is the highest mark and 1 the lowest.
  • Under this new system an A is equivalent to a 7 while a C is anchored at grade 4.
  • Note that there are two levels of passes – a standard pass at grade 4 and a strong pass at grade 5.

The reason for introducing numerical grading is largely so that sixth forms, universities and employers have more detail on the highest-achieving candidates. For example, we now have 7 to 9 grades instead of just A* and A at the very top end.

E-ACT’s high flyers

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed speaking to just some of the many successful Year 11 students from across the trust today. Read on to find out how our high flyers did it and where they’re off to next…

Six grade 9s for Iqra!

The Oldham Academy North’s Iqra knew she had done well when her teacher looked at her results and started screaming! The talented student achieved an astonishing six grade 9s in English literature, biology, chemistry, science, history and maths, as well as grade 8s in French and photography. Iqra believes that the teachers at TOAN were the key to her success, as they were “brilliant in class” and willingly marked the extra essays and worksheets that she completed as part of her revision. An active member of the academy community, Iqra enjoyed her role as deputy head girl and even found time to take part in drama club and the academy choir. She’ll undoubtedly be an asset to The Blue Coat School, where she’ll be studying maths, chemistry, English literature and French A levels.

Oscar’s high standards

DSLV’s Oscar was absolutely delighted with his four grade 9s in maths, biology, physics and history, a grade 8 in chemistry and two grade 7s in English language and English literature. He puts his success down to working hard and support from his academy, including his “fantastic” teachers Miss Spencer and Mr Willis. Oscar has thoroughly enjoyed his time at DSLV but is looking forward to the next exciting chapter in his life as he goes on to study physics, maths and economics at A level. Oscar’s advice to younger students is to “focus throughout all of your school years, not just Year 11. Keep your standards high!”

Green tea is key…

Parkwood’s Denya is something of a celebrity at E-ACT, as her photo features on our website’s homepage! The trust star amazed her classmates and teachers with her fantastic results, achieving two grade 9s in chemistry and art and design, four grade 8s in English language, history, biology and religious studies and grade 7s in English literature and physics. Denya puts her success down to hard work, help from her family and teachers and most importantly, lots of cups of green tea! She’s off to study chemistry, maths, biology and art at sixth form, having picked chemistry because “it’s just one of those things that clicks. It just makes sense.”

The sky’s the limit for Ricardo!

Ricardo Balla, a student at Shenley Academy, left his mum and dad the huge responsibility of picking up his results today, as he was off visiting an RAF camp with the Air Cadets. Thankfully, his parents were able to call him with fantastic news. Ricardo achieved three grade 9s in double science and maths, three grade 8s in English literature, computer studies and history and a grade 7 in English language. He puts his success down to keeping his life in careful balance, having taken part in lots of extra-curricular activities like music and sports during his time at Shenley. Ricardo dreams of one day being managing director of his own company, and is off to University College Birmingham to study Level 3 Business.

“There may have been a few tears…”

Alishba, a student at North Birmingham Academy, admits that there may have been a few tears when she opened her results. She was awarded an impressive four grade 9s in maths, chemistry, biology and physics as well as seven other GCSEs at grade 8. According to Alishba, her teachers were instrumental in helping her achieve her goal, as she notes that “literally all of them were amazing.”Alishba will study biology, chemistry and maths at sixth form as she has her sights set on a career in pharmacy or medicine.

High expectations

The Parker’s James had set very high expectations for himself in the run up to results day. Luckily, he was not disappointed, as he achieved two grade 9s in chemistry and physics and five grade 8s in maths, English language, English literature, history and biology. James worked “really hard”, reading revision guides and completing online activities in the run up to exams.  He’s excited to return to The Parker for sixth form in September, and plans to study A level English literature, chemistry, physics and maths.

“A moment to cherish”

Shalima, a student at The Oldham Academy North, could hardly believe her eyes when she saw her results, having achieved five grade 9s in English literature, combined science, fine art, history and religious studies and two grade 8s in maths and combined science. Shalima is thrilled to have made her parents and teachers proud, and notes that opening her results with her history teacher Mrs Miles was “a moment to cherish”. She is looking forward to studying chemistry, biology, maths and English literature at A Level and hopes to one day be a doctor.

Well done all!

We know just how hard our students have been working in the run up to their exams, and we are delighted for them as they collect their results slips and no doubt complete a celebratory jig in their moment of triumph.

Many, many congratulations to you all.