A-levels aren't easier, say headteachers
PUBLISHED: 14:41 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:18 07 September 2010
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CAMDEN headteachers have rubbished claims that A-levels are getting easier, despite only 2.8 per cent of exams being failed nationally. The director of sixth form at La Swap s William Ellis School Malcolm Rose said pupils should be given the credit they d
CAMDEN headteachers have rubbished claims that A-levels are getting easier, despite only 2.8 per cent of exams being failed nationally.
The director of sixth form at La Swap's William Ellis School Malcolm Rose said pupils should be given the credit they deserve.
"Is it easier to swim the 100m or 200m?" he said. "Why is the swimmer Michael Phelps breaking all these records? Have they shortened the pool? Why can't people just accept their achievements?
"I think the kids are working harder and the teachers are getting savvier about the exam system.
"The exams also lend themselves to people who are willing to work hard and who are well prepared."
And in response to the criticism that the exams are too easy deputy headteacher of Camden School for Girls Barbara Butler said she would welcome the introduction of a new A* grade at A-level.
"The A* grade would raise the bar and I know many of our students would have achieved the grade this time around, she said.
"I think the students respond very positively to the challenge. What I'm especially pleased about this year is that not only have they done exceptionally well academically, but they have also excelled outside of school.
"Six of our Year 13 pupils were selected to go to a Zulu village in South Africa where they were involved in community projects."
The school achieved its best A-level results ever with a fifth of all pupils getting straight A grades.
A total of 204 students took their A-levels, and 88 of them scored at least 360 points - the equivalent to thee As. The school had an overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent and the average points score per student was 322.5.
Almost half of all the students got at least one A grade and 72 per cent got Bs or above. The school has a dozen pupils going to Oxford or Cambridge.
Among the school's outstanding pupils was Chiara Crean, who scored one of the top five marks in the country in the History of Art A-level.
Pupils from Haverstock also celebrated scoring high grades and achieving a massive increase in the number of A to C grades.
Last year 46 per cent of marks were A to C and the figure leapt up to 60 per cent this year. La Swap has also maintained the great results pupils achieved last year with 73.8 per cent of all exams being graded A to C.
One success story at La Swap was Chloe Garnett, 18, who managed to grab a place at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden Town by gaining two As and B in biology, chemistry and physics.
Her head teacher at La Sainte Union School said: "It really is a great achievement for Chloe because it is rare for a student who doesn't live on a farm or come from that type of background get into to do veterinary science."
For the full results please see next week's paper.
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