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Monday, 28 January 2019 20:12

A Level Performance: Kent and Medway Schools 2018

Note: you will find GCSE performance here for Kent and Medway.  

This article looks at A Level performance for Kent and Medway schools in the summer of 2018. It is difficult to make comparative judgements at this level as schools vary so much in the pattern of their intake into Year 12 that the Achievement tables in particular are of limited value. However, Progress from GCSE to A Level can be revealing, with good non-selective schools tending to better than many grammar schools for their students, so may be a useful contribution to decisions on where to follow one's studies. 

The highest performer is Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School followed by, in order: Valley Park; St George’s CofE, Gravesend; Longfield Academy; Bennett Memorial; Herne Bay; Oakwood Park Grammar; Holcombe Grammar; and Weald of Kent Grammar. QEGS is one of nine schools whose students who have made 'Above Average' progress over the two years in the Sixth Form. 

Dane Court Grammar has the lowest grammar school performance and is the only selective school in the ten graded 'Well Below Average' for progress. 

There are four alternative  measures for determining attainment. Highest across the board in all four measures is The Judd School. Then come Tunbridge Wells Girls, Skinners and Rochester Grammar; with Norton Knatchbull by some way at the bottom of the grammar schools list. Four schools top the non-selective list, unsurprisingly Bennett Memorial and St Gregory’s, along with two Gravesend schools: St George’s CofE; and St John’s Catholic. These four are amongst the six church schools in the top ten non-selective schools.  

 
For those looking for A Level courses, most students will tend to stay at their home school, but alternatives should be considered. A Level outcomes of individual schools will be one factor, especially Progress levels, and there are plenty of good examples here together with links to the tables, although a number of warnings not to follow them slavishly. An article from the  summer may also help, an a slightly older one looking at opportunities District by District, and showing that over 500 local pupils were changing schools at this stage in 2015. I am updating my school by school survey for Kent and Medway, but am only part way through entering A Level Progress outcomes for 2018. 
 
Two grammar schools, Dartford and Tonbridge, do not appear at all in these tables, as all Sixth Form students study for the International Baccalaureate instead of A Level
 
A Level Progress Grades
Arguably, A Level Progress is less reliable than GCSE Progress 8, as it is very dependent on the quality of intake into the Sixth Form, staying on rates, and fall out rates during the course. Fewer than half of the schools in the table below had above average performance at Progress 8, with just three showing Above Average in both – Weald of Kent Grammar, Valley Park and Bennett Memorial. The highest performer, Queen Elizabeth’s also had the highest fall out of pupils at the end of Year 12 in the county at 13% (but see Holcombe below). It was Below Average in Progress 8 at GCSE and average in 2016, so also appears to have built on its poor GCSE outcomes in the past to travel furthest. Holcombe Grammar’s performance is achieved by engineering the disgraceful 30% fallout at the end of Year 12, by far the largest of any school in Kent and Medway.  See my previous article on this scandal.  
 
Kent  & Medway High A Level Progress Scores  2018    
Grammar    Non-Selective   

A Level

Progress

Progress 8

GCSE

A Level

Progress

Progress 8

GCSE

Queen Elizabeth's 0.26(AA) -0.32(BA) Valley Park 0.22(AA) 0.22(AA)
Oakwood Park  0.16(AA)  0.17(A) St George's CofE 0.21(AA) 0.04(A)
Holcombe  0.14(AA) 0.17(A) Longfield  0.19(AA) -0.17(A)
Weald of Kent 0.10(AA) 1.01(WAA) Bennett Memorial  0.18(AA) 0.97(WAA)
Skinners 0.10(A) 0.68(WAA) Herne Bay  0.18(AA)  -0.33(BA)
Sir Joseph Williamson's  0.06(A) 0.49(AA) Leigh UTC* 0.35(A) -0.82
Chatham Girls 0.05(A)  0.6(WAA) Wilmington 0.13(A) 0.06(A)
Simon Langton Girls 0.04(A)  0.39(AA) St Gregory's 0.12(A) 0.37(AA)
Gravesend 0.01(A) 0.45(AA) Homewood  0.07(A) -0.4(BA)
Maidstone Grammar  0.00(A) -0.12(A) Northfleet  0.07(A) -0.43(BA)

 *Leigh UTC appears out of  band order, possibly as a function of the small number of candidates,  (13). 

You will find the Progress Grades for every individual Kent school here, and Medway here,  compiled and updated by me as time permits. If you wish me to complete a table please let me know.

The ten schools with Well Below Average Progress performance also include: the three Swale Academies Trust schools – Meopham, Sittingbourne Community, Westlands; the two Brook Learning Trust schools offering A Levels – Hayesbrook and High Weald; and Medway UTC; along with Dane Court Grammar School. 

Achievement
In the government performance tables for Kent here, and Medway here:, you will find four different attainment levels for each school. Listed in the tables after the number of students taking an A Level and the Progress level, the four attainment schemes are
Average A Level Grade;
Average Point Score across all A Levels taken (You will find the Points value of each A Level Grade here);
Achieving AAB or higher in at least 2 facilitating subjects by percentage for all eligible students;
Average Grade and points for a student’s best 3 A levels for all eligible students.
 
In practice, the different schemes occupy similar places in the league table of performance for most schools, so in the table below, I only list one, Average Point score. 
 
 
Kent  & Medway High A Level Attainment Scores  2018    
Grammar   Non-Selective  
School APS Progress School APS Progress
Judd 46.75 Average  Bennett Memorial 33.75  Above Average
Tunbridge Wells Girls 43.71 Average  St George's CofE 31.44 Above Average
Skinners 41.66 Average  St Gregory's Catholic 30.9 Average
Weald of Kent 40.21 Above Average St John's Catholic  29.97  Average
Rochester  39.92  Average  Hillview 28.82 Average
Sir Joseph Williamson's'  39.14  Average  Valley Park 28.32  Above Average
Invicta   38.9 Below Average  Leigh UTC 28.00 Average
Highworth 38.26 Average   St Simon Stock Cath 27.49  Average
Cranbrook 37.83 Below Average   St Anselm's 27.43 Average
Queen Elizabeth's 37.6 Above Average Folkestone Academy  27.43  Average

It is quite difficult for the 'super selective' schools to make above average progress, starting in the Sixth Form with very high GCSE Grades, but no problem with Attainment. Invicta Grammar had an appalling record of illegally 'expelling' pupils who weren't going to achieve the highest grades at A level at the end Year 12, and losing them at the end of Year 11, in its chase to the top. However, since I exposed the practice, the school appears to have reined back on this for 2018. The school's 'Below Average' Progress grade relates to previous years' actions in years 11 & 12 as pupils who might not provide top grades were weeded out.  

 

 
Last modified on Thursday, 07 February 2019 14:07

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