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Kingston getting to grips with new GCSE grading

Despite new tougher tests, Kingston students have continued to excel at Key Stage 4, far exceeding the national averages for both GCSE and English Baccalaureate results.

In terms of GCSEs, provisional figures* show that 81 per cent of pupils achieved a grade four or above in English and Mathematics, which is roughly equivalent to the old C grade or above. This represents an increase of 3 per cent in comparison to the previous year and remains well above the 2017 national average of 64 percent.

66 per cent of pupils also secured a ‘good’ pass in both subjects, achieving a grade 5 or above.

The proportion of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate, which requires a grade four or above in a range of different subject areas, has also increased this year, from 46 per cent to 50 per cent, compared with the 2017 national average of 24 per cent.

Councillor Diane White, Kingston Council's portfolio holder for education, said:  

"Well done to our students, parents and teachers on getting to grips with the new grading system. These exams are an important milestone in a young person’s educational journey and I'm glad that Kingston continues to perform well above national standards. We know from the recent A-Level results, that those who wish to continue their studies and work hard, will be well supported in that aim within the borough."

*All GCSE results are currently provisional and will be confirmed over the next few weeks.

Changes to the GCSE grading system

The GCSE grading scale in England has been changed by Ofqual to make it more demanding. They believe this will ensure that pupils will leave schools better prepared for work or further study. The DfE explains that the 9 to 1 grading scale allows clearer differentiation between highest performing pupils and makes clear distinction between old and new exams.

The DfE recognises grade 5 and above as a 'strong pass', a benchmark in line with the expectations of top performing education systems around the world. They will publish the proportion of pupils achieving both grade 4 and above and grade 5 and above.