Persistence and determination by staff finally pays off for Felixstowe Academy English students as requested re-marking shows the number of A* to C grades increasing by 12% against the previous year.
In the summer Felixstowe Academy received results for English with 58% of students achieving A* to C grades. Although the results represented a 5% improvement on 2013 results, this did not reflect the projected grades of staff, which have been extensively moderated by external organisations before being submitted.
The Academy’s revised grades show that 65% of students achieved A* to C grades, which is an increase of 12% on last year's result and bucks the national trend of a slight decline overall against 2013. This result also increased the combined A* to C for English with Maths to 45% from 43%.
In August, closer scrutiny of the English results highlighted that student coursework grades had been reduced significantly across the board. The Academy asked the examination board to look at all coursework again to check that their marking did not contain mistakes and to also reconsider a large number of individual student results relating to the actual written examination.
Late afternoon on the final day of the half term, Principal Mr Salter received a phone call giving him the revised results for the English exams, some two months after our request had been put in. The call confirmed that the Academy’s challenge of coursework grades resulted in 42 students seeing their grades increase and no results being marked down.
Mr Salter was delighted by the new results, both for students and staff saying ‘I am really thrilled for all those students who have had, at last, true recognition for their hard work and commitment towards their studies. For many this will mean not having to re-sit their English course, allowing them to focus on their A-level and BTEC courses fully.’
Felixstowe Academy Sixth Form student, Alex Murray, was one of the students who benefitted from the result challenge ‘This increase in my English grade is a real weight off my mind and it's good to know that all my hard work did pay off in the end. I feel a lot happier now I am able to focus fully on my A-Levels. I owe a big thanks to the fantastic English Department, in particular Mrs Hough, for keeping me up to date on re-marking process and having the confidence in me to have achieved my higher grade’
Mr Salter added ‘This was also a vindication that the quality of teaching and learning in English, as we already knew, has been validated through these results. This team can now go forward with confidence that they are on the right course to improve results even further this academic year.’
It was the English Department’s tracking, along with support from the Academy sponsor via the AET English officers, which indicated that student results and progress would have been in line with National performance in 2012/2013.
In terms of progress, which is how schools/academies are measured, the standard measure from a primary school starting point through to GCSE is 3 Levels of Progress. The Academy’s August results showed that 61% of students had made 3 levels of progress – representing a 10% rise against 2013.
As a result of the re-marks this figure increased to 70%, which is an increase of 19% against 2013 and puts Felixstowe Academy in line with national performance.
Whilst 3 levels is the standard measure, there is an aspiration that schools/academies achieve 4 levels of progress. In August this was 20% but has now moved to 24%.
Whilst the Academy community will take this fantastic news as a validation that we are indeed on the right course, there isn't any complacency or distraction for our journey to 'Good'. There is a rigorous drive to raise standards of achievement through stretch and challenge which will be achieved with the partnership of parents and carers and give the whole community renewed confidence that we can indeed 'Inspire our students to make their best better'.