GCSE pupils 'outperformed' against national average

GCSE pupils at two schools in Horncastle are being praised after figures published by the Department for Education confirmed they did better than their peers elsewhere in the country.

QEGS GCSE students Elliot Wilson, Emma Spence, Ronan Waters and Erin Woodhouse.
QEGS GCSE students Elliot Wilson, Emma Spence, Ronan Waters and Erin Woodhouse.

Despite the upheaval to their studies caused by Covid-19, this year’s cohort at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and Banovallum School performed better than the national average in several subjects including maths and English – based on how much progress pupils at the schools made between the end of key stage 2 and the end of key stage 4 – compared to other similar pupils nationally.

In maths, 84 percent of pupils at Banovallum and QEGS combined achieved a grade 4 or above, compared with 64 percent nationally, and in English, 89 percent achieved a grade 4 or above, compared to 70 percent nationally.

Headteacher at Banovallum School Grant Edgar said their success is thanks to a collective effort between teachers, pupils and their families:

Banovallum GCSE students JJ Bowen, Ella Fawcett and Fleur Fawcett.

“This cohort has done particularly well given the challenges they faced during lockdown and subsequently when they were allowed to return to school. Staff had to find a new way of teaching while pupils and their families had to adapt to a new way of learning.

“The toughest time for us as a school was in the run-up to the exams when many teachers and pupils were off school isolating. We had to run the school while maintaining our capabilities to deliver high-quality remote education with significantly fewer resources.

“This makes this year’s progress scores even more impressive and we would like to commend the students, their families and their teachers for their hard work and commitment.”

Simon Furness, Headteacher at QEGS, added: “It’s great news for the town that the schools, which are part of the Horncastle Education Trust (HET), are performing significantly above the national average.

“Following the pandemic, we worked hard to ensure the physical and emotional welfare of our children by providing additional emotional and pastoral support and strengthening extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities.

“It was a real team effort and I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the pivotal role families played – it was a tough time but we came through it and the children and their families should feel very proud of themselves.”

Banovallum School and QEGS are part of the HET along with Huttoft, Frithville and New York primary schools.

The trust’s chief executive Sandra James said: “The trust was originally set up to strengthen the partnerships between the schools and these results prove just what can be achieved by working together.

“They also provide reassurance that the trust is succeeding in its aims of providing quality-first teaching for every young person as well as the tools needed to help them sustain positive mental health, emotional resilience and wellbeing.

"I would like to congratulate the young people, staff and their families and wish them every success in the future.”