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Friday, 26 October 2018 06:40

GCSE Performance for Medway Schools: 2018

The key measure of GCSE Performance is Progress 8 (full table here) .Under this measure Medway is slightly above the National Average of -0.02, at +0.02 (with just one school Well Below Average, contrasted with Kent's 15). Attainment 8 (full table here) has Medway just below the National score of 46.5, at 46.0.

Highlights:  Three grammar schools have Well Above Average Progress Grades led by Rochester Grammar, followed by Chatham Girls. Holcombe Grammar is at the foot with an Average Progress Grade coming below the non-selective Sir Thomas Aveling. Five of the six grammars have Attainment scores within three points of each other, again led by Rochester Grammar, with Holcombe  again limping along behind. Chatham Grammar Girls comes top for the percentage of pupils gaining Level 5 or better in English and Maths.

Amongst non-selective schools, pupils at Thomas Aveling and Rainham Girls score above Average Progress grades. The only school scoring Well below Average is unsurprisingly, Medway UTC. Rainham Girls leads Thomas Aveling in Attainment, with Victory Academy at the foot, just behind Medway UTC.

You will find all the individual outcomes for Medway schools here.

Note: To assist those looking for information on secondary school transfer, I have already published articles on 2018 outcomes for: the Medway Test; Kent GCSE outcomes;  the Kent Test; and 2018  Kent & Medway school appeals

This is the third year of the new GCSE assessments for measuring schools performance, Progress 8 and Attainment 8, which replaced the long established 5 A*-C GCSE league table including English and maths. You will find an explanation of both measures in the parallel Kent GCSE article.

Grammar School Progress 8

Chatham Grammar School for Girls' excellent Progress grades at last show major improvement under its new sponsor University of Kent Academy Trust and management by Brompton Academy after years of disappointing outcomes by a variety of measures.

Rochester Grammar continues to head both major tables with its intake dominated by the highest performing girls in the Medway Test. The other Thinking Schools Academy Trust school, Holcombe Grammar, has had a torrid year, bogged down by controversy, which may have taken its eye off the ball being well adrift in both the main measures. Government divides progress outcomes into five groups around a median of 'Average', the large majority of grammar schools across the country exceeding this, arguably because bright pupils have the greater potential to work towards.

Grammar School Progress 8
Scores for 2018
School Score
Well Above Average 
 Rochester Grammar 0.63 
Chatham Grammar Girls 0.60
Sir Joseph Williamson's 0.49
Above Average
 Fort Pitt Grammar 0.41
Rainham Mark Grammar
Holcombe Grammar 0.17
Non-Selective Progress 8.
 Thomas Aveling achieved 'above average' level, with all schools but Medway UTC achieving the floor standard (for the second year running). For the UTC this follows its appalling Special Measures Ofsted, but it is  not alone in the sector with nine UTCs having already folded and 20% failed their Ofsted.
Hundred of Hoo Academy Academy has improved rapidly recently, as shown by these GCSE results and the recent glowing Ofsted Report, presumably putting to bed its previous poor reputation.   
Brompton Academy has done well demonstrating it does well for its pupils despite the low attainment below.
Non-Selective Progress 8
Scores for 2018
 School  Score School  Score 
Above Average   St John Fisher Catholic
 Thomas Aveling  0.31  Victory Academy  -0.24
Below Average 
Rainham Girls 0.09 Strood Academy   -0.21
Hundred of Hoo
Walderslade Girls
 Howard School -0.08 Greenacre  -0.39
Brompton Academy -0.14 Well Below Average 
and below Floor Level of -0.5
Robert Napier  -0.15 Medway UTC -0.58
Attainment  8
Not surprisingly, here the grammar schools sweep the table completely.
Grammar Schools Attainment 8
There is tight bunching of the top five Grammar schools. To my mind this reflects best on Chatham Girls which with probably the least qualified intake. Holcombe came below all but one Kent grammars. By comparison, 13 Kent grammar schools perform better than Rochester Grammar with the latter's super-selective intake. 
Grammar School Attainment 8
Scores for 2018
School Score
 Rochester Grammar 66.6 
Sir Joseph Williamson's  65.6
 Rainham Mark Grammar 64.7
Fort Pitt Grammar 64.4
Chatham Grammar Girls
Holcombe Grammar 57.7

  Non Selective Attainment

Rainham Girls put Thomas Aveling into second place.

Victory Academy comes bottom, setting up a double with Holcombe Grammar as its Executive Head oversees both schools.

Non-Selective Attainment 8
Scores for 2016
 School  Score School  Score 
Rainham Girls  43.4  St John Fisher 38
Thomas Aveling 42.7 Greenacre 37.9
Howard School 42.1 Brompton Academy
Hundred of Hoo 40.2 Strood Academy 37.4
Walderslade Girls 39 Medway UTC 34.3
Robert Napier 38 Victory Academy 33.3
Coasting Schools
This category applies to schools with a Progress 8 score of less than -0.25 for three consecutive years. In Medway there is just one Coasting School, Walderslade Girls, although Kent has eleven. 
English Baccalaureate
This is a third measure towards which the government was trying to nudge schools, by measuring the percentage of pupils taking GCSE in five specific subject areas: English, maths, a science, a language, and history or geography. It is designed to encourage schools towards more academic subjects and away from those thought intellectually easier, although Progress 8 and Attainment 8 already go some way towards that.
Rochester Grammar School remains at the top of the lists, with 98% of its pupils entering the required subjects. followed by  Rainham Mark with 84% and then Rainham School for Girls 77%. Nearly all schools have seen a rise in proportion following this government pressure, some very significant, such as Rainham Girls up from 20% in 2017. Five of of the six grammar  schools are at 59% or above, with Holcombe Grammar moving rapidly in the opposite direction on 33%, as it chases success by any route. Just one School with no pupils following the government recommended curriculum - Medway UTC..

Grade 5 or Above in English and Maths GCSEs.
Another measure for identifying the high performing schools, recorded individually on my site here, although 2018 results not yet recorded at time of writing. I regard this as a specially significant measure for Grammar schools as all pupils should emerge with a good standard in these two subjects. Whilst I have used 95% as my cut off for high scorers in Kent, top Medway School is Chatham Grammar Girls with 91% followed by Sir Joseph Williamson's with 90%,  Rochester Grammar 87%, Rainham Mark 86%, Holcombe 80% and Fort Pitt 79%. Top non-selective school is Hundred of Hoo with 33% followed by Rainham Girls at 28%. At the foot of the table are Medway UTC with 18% and Greenacre 16%.
Last modified on Wednesday, 23 October 2019 04:20


  • Comment Link Tuesday, 30 October 2018 00:09 posted by Angry Holcombe Parent

    My son spent five years at Holcombe being told he was doing well. In year 11 he had supply teachers as his regular teachers were absent or left,morale dropped amongst boys and teachers as well and now he is not allowed back into the Sixth Form as like some of his friends GCSE results were below requirements. Who do we complain to, and will there be an investigation into what has happened. PETER: I am so sorry to hear this, but not surprised given the background. Sadly TSAT knows best and your son is unlikely to get satisfaction for the ruination of his ambitions.

  • Comment Link Monday, 29 October 2018 18:45 posted by Olu Adesuyi

    Peter Do you not think that the competition between the grammar schools are shortening and it's quite suprising to see that Rochester Grammar for Girls Gcse results have dropped drastically this year with 87 percent achieving a grade 5 or above shows it may not be as top quality grammar again nevertheless it still tops the list for progress 8 and attainment 8 but It's good to see Chatham Girls back on top again with good gcse results this year compared to last year however what is really going on Holcombe Grammar, the Gcse results are so poor and are definitely not of Grammar school standard I see why Sir Joseph is now swarmed with all the medway boys the difference between the Gcse Results Holcombe and Rochester Maths is frankly ridiculous. PETER: I couldn't agree more. The wide variety of disgraceful events at Holcombe I have covered on this website are unique in my experience. The variety of untruthful statements made by the Thinking Schools Academy Trust about this year's appeals scandal show there is no integrity in the management of the school. Not surprising with all this going on that management has failed comprehensively to give priority to ensuring good teaching and learning taking place. Heads should roll!

  • Comment Link Monday, 29 October 2018 17:48 posted by Vicky: Hoo Parent

    Peter, Would you not agree that The Hundred of Hoo Academy has improved greatly since your critical comments of a year or so back. PETER: I certainly do, as confirmed by the GCSE results quoted in this article and in the school's recent glowing Ofsted Report. It has suffered from a deservedly poor reputation in the past, but it certainly looks as if this should have now been discarded after the past year's quality performances.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 28 October 2018 20:25 posted by Victoria Adams

    It looks from your data that Rainham School for Girls is the most consistent non selective when compared with Thomas Aveling. And all who apply for a place and persist get in, whereas at TA many appeals are unsuccessful. PETER: Quite right. I have updated the data with 2018 GCSE results but haven't yet updated the commentary.

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