Located in the Bradbury Building, a newly extended block that more resembles a University faculty, The West Bridgford School’s Post-16 is a vibrant and growing community of 352 that welcomes in a significant number of new to school students every year. Rated Outstanding by OFSTED (2011), we are proud to be a community based Sixth Form that retains extremely strong ties to the lower school. Our expanding numbers have necessitated significant investment in new staff and we were delighted to welcome Mrs Caroline Nolan to a new Post 16 Intervention post in June 2017. In combination with the school also investing heavily in ICT via BrightSpace and the BrightSpace Pulse app which will enable students to access resources, marked work and results on their mobile devices, we are confident that we will continue to go from strength to strength in the future.
Whilst our results are always excellent, we were particularly thrilled by our A level exam results this year. At the top end, 6 of the 8 students who were made offers from Oxford or Cambridge secured their places. Huge congratulations to Leon Hughes (History at Oxford), Gabrielle Saperia (Economics & Management at Oxford), Helena Trenkic (History at Cambridge), Amy Forbes (History at Oxford), Eleanor Collard (Chinese at Oxford) and Jeevith Gananakumaran (Engineering at Cambridge). In addition, 7 students (Mia Cooke, Inaya Khan, Seyta Diop, Jacob Piechota, Fateen Maqbool, Ismail Mellahi and Ella Smith) were successful in securing a coveted place to study Medicine. Other students who gained places in very competitive courses were James Walton (Dental Surgery at Plymouth University), Liza Chudakova (Dentistry at Sheffield University) and Issey Fellows (Veterinary Science at Nottingham University). It is a testament to their hard work and the support they received whilst at school that they were able to be so successful. Perhaps even more revealing of the positive ethos and ideology that surrounds the Sixth Form is our VA (value added) score. This is the measure that puts our students’ results up against similar schools across the country. With a VA this year of +0.25, our students have done on average a quarter of a grade better than could be reasonably expected, and sometimes significantly more. My own favourite story is of the student who from base targets of BCC in Year 12 achieved results of A*BB. So shocked was he that he ran in through a downpour on results morning to tell me that there was a mistake with his results. His subsequent delight on hearing that there was no mistake reminded me of why I have the best job in the school.
GCSE and A Level Results Days at the West Bridgford School are always one of the highlights of the year. After many years of hard work, students finally find out if they have managed to attain the grades that will allow them to move onto the next stage of their lives, equipped with the tools that will allow them to follow the routes they aspire to. We are pleased to report that 2017 has been yet another very successful year, and we were able to celebrate the vast majority of our Post-16 students moving onto the university or apprenticeship of their choice. Our GCSE students also achieved wonderful results, resulting in record recruitment to the Sixth Form, with our other leavers going onto a range of meaningful courses at college. In the paragraph below we have tried to explain how the school has done in terms of ‘school measures and accountability’. Results are only part of the story of ‘Results Day’ however. The work of staff and parents in striving to maximise the potential of every student, both academically and in their education of the whole person, has resulted in the West Bridgford community delivering another year of exceptional young people to the world. This is something that we, as a community, can be proud of. We wish them well in their endeavours. Now begins the hard work of delivering on the potential of the class of 2018!
As parents are no doubt aware this is the first year of the GCSE English and Maths ‘9-1’ grades, and combining this change with last year’s comprehensive changes in school accountability measures, presents the school with a challenge when comparing our results with previous years. The nearest direct replacement to the old ‘gold standard measure’ of 5 x GCSE C grade including English and Maths is the new ‘basics’ measure of the percentage of students achieving C or above passes in English and maths. As almost all students achieving this level will also get further ‘good’ passes in other subjects and would consequently have met the previous benchmark, this measure does provide some comparison with previous years. Thus we have calculated this years ‘5 Standard (Grade 9-4) Passes inc English and Maths’ as a comparison with the old measure:
This record result leads us to believe that our students have performed admirably and delivered stunning results.
To further muddy the waters the DfE is also reporting on a ‘Strong Passes’ (9-5) in English and Maths. Our ‘High Challenge’ externally set target for this was 72% achieving 9-5 in English and Maths. We achieved 77%.
The second new measure is known as Attainment 8 (A8 for short) which shows the average grade obtained by all students in the school from 6 ‘high value’ qualifications (English and maths count double, giving a total of 8). The average grade for our students this year is a ‘B’ which is a full grade and a half higher than the national average.
Of course we know how fortunate we are to have so many able and hard-working students at West Bridgford who are always likely to do very well in their examinations and so it’s perhaps unsurprising that they achieve a high average grade. However, the third new measure called Progress 8 (P8) takes the outcome from A8 and looks to see how much progress students have made from their KS2 starting points. Our exact outcome for P8 will only be known when the government has processed all of the exam results from across the country but early indications suggest that we are likely to have achieved a score that surpasses last year’s P8 of 0.33. This means that students will have done, on average, better than 0.33 of a grade better per subject than could have been reasonably expected from their starting points. As P8 is likely to become the new ‘gold standard’, our score on this measure is probably the one we are most proud of this year as it shows very clearly the exceptional progress our students make in their time with us. This high progress is has been achieved by all groups of students in the school, of all abilities.
The final DfE measure shows the percentage of students who achieve the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which requires a grade C/5 or above in all of the core academic subjects of English, maths, science, humanities and modern foreign languages. Although this is certain to be the least important of the new measures and, unlike many schools, we have never insisted that students opt for the entire EBacc suite, almost all of the students going down this route did achieve this mark.
At A Level our students achieved a very impressive ‘B’ grade average for their ‘Best 3’ A Level Results. On average they achieved a full quarter grade above what could be reasonably expected. We are very pleased with these results.
This year has been a very successful one for WBS in the Maths Challenge thanks to all the enthusiastic pupils who took part. Across all three Maths Challenges, 79% of pupils who took part received a certificate for their achievement, while 24 out of the 135 pupils who took part were invited to participate in the follow-up round for their age group. Special mention goes to Ethan Sosin and Sam Liew, who both received medals for their outstanding achievement in the Junior and Intermediate Olympiads respectively.
“The UKMT Senior Maths Challenge is an interesting and engaging series of papers suited to gifted maths students. It allows us to apply maths we learn to problems outside of our curriculum, develop our problem solving skills and introduce us to a more abstract area of maths, maths for itself. It also stretches students and allows natural mathematicians to express their true ability in some very interesting mathematics. I would highly recommend taking part in the Maths Challenge to any aspiring mathematicians who may wish to study mathematics further, or who just enjoy maths as a subject.” Robbie Keywood and Nathan Schofield, Senior Maths Challenge participants
6:30 from school is when we'd depart,
And this is where our journey would start,
The German exchange is what we were on,
The coach journey was fun but rather long,
14 hours later we were finally there,
The girls faces no makeup and bare,
All very tired but ready to go,
Our partners were there to point and show,
We settled down for the night,
Hoping that the mosquitos wouldn't bite.
Free time in the Köln was rather sound,
Ellis and Leo navigating around,
Even though the museum was interesting,
A lot of us weren't even listening.
The weekend had come and it was time to relax,
Well that's what we thought but we lived life to the max,
With the families we went to Phantasialand,
But after all the rides we couldn't even stand!
Over 10 thousand steps I walked that day,
All of us ready to relax not play.
But the next five days were still to come,
All of these were full of fun,
Aachen on Monday meant three countries done,
We were lucky as the sun shone.
Next was Bonn and Haribos galore,
Toly bought lots from the store.
A Rhine boat ride up next - a rest was well-earned,
Leo spent too long in the sun and burned.
Königsallee in Düsseldorf was very flash,
This did mean we spent a lot of cash!
The Neanderthal museum was good as we wandered through dirt,
Ellis was chuffed with his new t-shirt.
Cologne again only not for so long,
The decision to buy ice cream was not wrong,
Back to school for a football game,
Luca couldn't play, what a shame,
After an early start we said bye to our partner,
MickMikes stories had no middle, end or start,
We were sad to leave them in Germany alone,
But now everyone was ready to go home,
I could always tell you more,
But then I may become a bit of a bore.
Leo McGrath and Luca Marshall
More photo's from the German Exchange can be viewd by clicking here
The West Bridgford School Dance girls have been particularly busy in the past few weeks with some excellent show stopping performances and fantastic successes.
On Monday 3rd July 34 students took to the stage at The Castle Theatre in Wellingborough to perform at the National Final of ‘The Great Big Dance Off 2017’. The two groups (KS3 and KS4/5) qualified for the final earlier in the year after tough competition from across the East Midlands in the Regional heats. The KS3 students, many of whom were representing the school for only the second time, impressed the judges with their dance piece entitled ‘Empowerment’.
The KS4/5 students took to the stage, some of them for the final time, with their dance piece ‘Flight of the Geese’. This piece was inspired from the stimulus of the migration of Canadian geese however, displayed the theme additionally of the current topical issue of migration.
It was a nervous wait for the students (and staff!) when awaiting the results. The auditorium was filled with suspense and excitement in equal measures. The competition was fierce with many fantastic performances from across the UK. The compere announced that the KS4/5 group had placed in a super-impressive 3rd place and only one point behind 2nd place! The West Bridgford School now stands ranked 3rd Nationally for competitive dance within schools across the UK! A fantastic achievement for all. Well done girls!
To finish a fantastic year of dance the girls performed again only two days later in the annual Summer Showcase held at The West Bridgford School. There were many dazzling performances including GCSE Choreography pieces as well as some Disney performances which were performed in Paris back in February. The dance pieces which competed at ‘The Great Big Dance Off 2017’ were also performed and enjoyed by the audience as well as the ‘Final Dance’ created and performed by the five departing KS5 students who have been dancing with the school since the company first started. Emotions were high amongst all students and staff and it was a fantastic evening to celebrate all dance achievements from the past year.
We have some very exciting opportunities coming up again in the coming year. If you are a budding competitive dancer and would like to know more, or are new to dance and would just like to give it a go please contact Miss Rodgers for more information.
We would like to wish all the students a restful summer and for those that have moved to pastures new, good luck in your future studies and journeys and we hope to see you at one of our future performances! Thank you for all your hard work, commitment and enthusiasm throughout the year!