RGS GCSE student progress is among the best in the country

RIPON Grammar School's outstanding progress at GCSE has placed the school 81st out of 6,000 schools in the country.

Provisional results for 2019 have been published by the Department for Education, featuring the grades achieved by the third set of pupils to sit new and tougher GCSEs in English and maths.

The scores, designed to encourage good quality teaching across a broad curriculum, measure the progress children make between the end of primary school and their GCSEs.

The national average for all schools in the country is around zero, with a score of +1 meaning pupils achieve one grade higher in each qualification than other similar pupils nationally. RGS scored +0.92, placing it among the top 15% of schools in the country. 

Schools are judged by recently introduced measures called Progress 8 and Attainment 8, which are based on the results of the 2019 GCSE exams and historical DfE data.

The school's Attainment 8 score - the average score taken across eight subjects at GCSE -  is 72.4, with the national average across all state-funded schools in England being 46.5 and North Yorkshire's average 48.6.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb said: "This is a superb achievement and a credit to everyone at RGS, especially during a time of unprecedented change in the exam system. We are very proud of all our dedicated and hardworking staff and students who rose to the challenge to exceed all expectations."

RGS students achieved 92.9% of all grades at 9-5 (the equivalent of A*-B) in their GCSEs. 

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STAFF and students at Ripon Grammar School are celebrating their exceptional academic achievements being officially recognised by the government.

Schools minister Nick Gibb has written to congratulate teachers and pupils for being in the top two per cent of state-funded mainstream schools for progress to GCSEs.

He also praises the school’s high level of EBacc (English Baccalaureate) subjects, which include English language and literature, maths, sciences, geography, history and a modern language.

In a letter to headmaster Jonathan Webb, Mr Gibb says: "Thank you for your work in continuing the drive towards higher academic standards, and congratulations to you and your staff for your hard work and professionalism.”

Last year, students at RGS - which is one of only five grammar schools in the country to offer boarding and Yorkshire’s only state boarding school - achieved 95 per cent of GCSEs at grades A*-B/9-5.

Mr Gibb explains that RGS students’ academic progress from leaving primary school to the end of fifth form, known as Progress 8 scores, is well above the national average.

“Your school’s Progress 8 score of 0.98 shows that you are in the top two per cent of state-funded mainstream schools in terms of the progress your pupils make,” he says.

He also pointed out that RGS was in the top nine per cent of state schools for EBacc entry: “We want to ensure that every child, regardless of their background, has the chance to study the EBacc at GCSE, which is why I was delighted to see your results.

“EBacc subjects provide a sound basis for careers beyond the age of 16 and can also enrich pupils’ studies, giving them a broad general knowledge,” he said.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb said he was thrilled to receive the letter from Mr Gibb: “Progress results are vitally important as they measure how much we, as a school, have added to the quality of our students’ education.

“This letter acknowledges all the hard work of students and staff, as well as all the valuable support we receive from parents, governors, our alumni and those in the wider community.”

STUDENTS are celebrating taking Ripon Grammar School to new heights in the national league tables as latest exam results place it in the top 15 schools in the country.

RGS’s exceptional GCSE results, alongside the progress students make, have secured its high ranking in the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Top 100 schools’ league table, which includes both independent and state schools.

RGS is the only school from Yorkshire and the North-East to make it into the top 40.

Sixth form student Tom Senior, from Ripon, who gained ten A*/9-8s and two A/7s in his GCSEs last summer, said: “This is a great acknowledgement of students’ hard work, alongside fantastic teaching.”

The 16-year-old, who is taking maths, economics, RE and history at A-level and hopes to study theology and philosophy at Oxford, added: “It’s a great achievement for the whole RGS community.”

Emma Belward, also from Ripon, who is taking A-levels in chemistry, biology, maths and music and hopes to study medicine at Newcastle University, said: “I am really pleased for the school, but it doesn’t come as any surprise.”

With eight A*/9-8s and two A/7s at GCSE, she is among the 95% of students who gained A*-B/9-5 grades at RGS last summer: “The teachers here are fantastic and really help the students. Everyone works hard and deserves the great results they get,” she added.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb congratulated both students and staff for their outstanding achievements, especially during such a period of educational change, as schools adapt to new and expanded syllabuses and styles of assessment.

“This is a testament to the quality of teaching and learning at Ripon Grammar School. Students have worked hard to attain so highly, building an excellent platform for their studies at A-level and beyond,” he said.

The Daily Telegraph ranks schools according to the percentage of students achieving five or more A*-C/9-4 grades and Progress 8 scores, which measure progress in eight core subjects from primary to secondary school.

A neutral 'zero' measure at Progress 8 means a school is performing at the national average. With a score of 0.98, Ripon Grammar School is performing significantly better than the average school.