A special feature on our Year 12 students and their many achievements!
We talk a lot about the growth mindset at SIS – and nowhere is this more apparent than in the work of our Year 12 students this year! Two weeks ago, we celebrated our best ever GCSE results, and there has been a lot of talk since then about what ‘best ever’ really means.
We have already noted that our average overall grade of 6.69 was even higher than last year’s record, with 61.4% of all grades at A*-A and 92.8% of all scores at A*-C. Overall, this means that a very large number of students ‘added value’ to a considerable degree to their predicted scores, right across the attainment range! You can view the full statistics here.
OUR EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS!
However, success is not really about statistics – it is about individual achievements. Here is what some of our students wrote about how their GROWTH MINDSETS helped them to make a major difference to their GCSE outcomes.
Milly Moore describes her pride that her hard work has paid off:
I always struggled with more mathematical and scientific subjects like Physics. I just couldn’t remember all of the equations and the facts that I needed to know to answer the questions. But I didn’t give up on myself. I studied for the physics exam more than I did for any other science. Sure, I hadn’t done particularly badly in mocks, but I wanted to do better, so I used this as motivation to work harder, since I wanted this grade for myself and not to impress anyone else. I ended up coming out the other side getting an A, and I could not have done that without my friends who have stuck by me and motivated me all along. The knowledge I had of the amount of effort I put in to this subject made me feel more proud than any letter on a piece of paper could make me feel.
Caitlin Donovan notes the importance of recognition for all students who have done their best:
Two years ago I was failing Math. I was getting 30-40% on every unit test, and I was certain I was going to fail my my exams. Last year I took my GCSE’s and this year I got my results back. I’ve come from getting steady E’s and D’s to getting a high B – 4 marks off an A, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. I personally don’t think it’s about getting 13 A*’s, I think it’s about impressing yourself so that you’re happy with your own scores. People get recognition for top marks, but they aren’t the only ones who have done well. So have you, as long as you have done your best.
Sam Demaid-Groves reflects on his own biggest personal challenge below:
The subject I improved on the most was my English language. After coming out of the mock exams with a B in my English language I felt as though I couldn’t improve upon that, however it was through my teacher that I was able to find ways in which to improve my writing. She gave me in-depth comments about my work in class and also set me personal goals to fulfil when writing to ensure my work was to the standard of an A student. Tips such as using a wide range of descriptors, varying my use of punctuation, and following analysis acronyms such as G.A.P really helped me work towards the grade I wanted. The final result of my English language (A) really did surprise me, as even though my teacher had assured me of my ability I was still unsure and in doubt. Thanks to her I was able to both surprise myself and prove to myself that through hard work and seeking help, all goals are achievable.
Helen Lee describes her tears of joy in meeting one of her key personal targets:
I have always struggled to keep up with all the languages I know. It’s really hard especially when all the languages I know have different grammar or sometimes even have a different way to interpret wording. English was by far the hardest subject for me for GCSE. It was hard for me to understand poems as they had weird ways of conveying meaning. The questions asked in the exams were hard to understand too. The wording seemed so odd and weird to me, that sometimes I had to draw pictures of the situation to understand what was going on. On past papers, I would roughly get a D/E and it disappointed me because everyone I knew got at least B or higher. After the final language exam, I started bawling my eyes out, running to my English teacher’s room – I had an anxiety attack. Fast forward to August, and I had opened my envelope with my results. I was crying so much I could barely open them. Rubbing away tears, I looked at them and saw… a C! I GOT A C! I started crying (with tears of joy this time) and ran to my teacher’s office. I am very so thankful to all my teachers who have supported me for 2 years. Without them, I would have not passed my GCSEs.
We are extremely proud of all of our students for everything they have achieved!
Everybody’s personal challenge is different … and for the teachers there were some major challenges this year as well …
NEW 9-1 GRADING SCALE:
This was the first year when certain subjects were graded on a scale of 9-1 rather than A*-G. Overall, our average in these new GCSEs was a 7, with 60.6% of all grades in the 7-9 range (equivalent to A/A* grades on the traditional scale). Amazingly, 32.1% of our grades were at Level 9 (equivalent to high A*), with an astonishing 60% of all grades in Fine Art at Level 9. This is against a UK average of 4% for Level 9 in 2018!
But once again, it is not all about the statistics. Ms Fiona Henderson, Head of Art & Design, explains the work that has gone on behind the scenes in achieving these outstanding outcomes:
SIS Art and Design department recognise the team effort that supports our student success at GCSE. Our team consists of ambitious and brave students, supportive parents, dedicated technicians and specialist staff who nurture and push each student to reach their full potential. 2018 saw an increased number of students complete the course and we celebrated their Fine Art and 3D work at the group exhibition back in May 2018. This year, we were anxious about the move from grades to 9-1 levels and there was a bit of guess-work involved when estimating attainment for the cohort. However, the results were exceptional and we are thrilled for our students and their achievements. Congratulations to all the team for this year’s results!
Moving forward, we are offering more specialisms and look forward to seeing the first wave of GCSE Textile students join us in the 2019 exhibition.
NEW AFP MEDIA COURSE:
This was also the first year when certain students studied the AFP Media course alongside their GCSE programme. Although not technically a GCSE, we are also very pleased with our students’ achievements in this course.
Mr Iain Williamson, Head of Media and Digital Literacy, reminds us of how we celebrated the success of the new course in April:
The inaugural Y11 Agence France Presse (AFP) Digital Media cohort of sixty-two students successfully received their graduating certificates back in April of this year. As part of the graduating ceremony, students were joined by Philippe Massonnet, the AFP Asia Pacific Director and Chris Geary, CEO of BSD Coding Academy. Special mention goes to the five students receiving academic excellence awards for having scored in the top markband possible for the course. These five students were Karina Au, Karen Chan, Joy Lee, Nicholas Ng and Yan Phu.
These five students went on to score a further 41A*s, 8As, 4Bs and 1C between them at GCSE …
Last but not least, we are extremely proud of the achievements of all of the students who achieved their goals in their ELC and ASDAN courses this year:
Mr Ian Meekcoms, Head of the LSC writes:
At SIS, as an inclusive school, we believe it is important that all achievements are recognised and we support all students to attain the necessary accreditations/qualifications to enable them to move on to the next stage of their academic development. We are very proud of the achievements of our LSC (Learning Support Centre) students again this year. We are very pleased to confirm that they achieved a 100% pass rate for Entry Level Certificates (ELC) across a wide range of subjects including English, Maths, Science, Geography, History and PSE. ELCs are suitable for students who are working towards GCSEs or similar qualifications, but would like to gain a recognised qualification. They can help build skills, increase knowledge and boost confidence.
We are also delighted to announce that six students in years 10 – 13, were successful at external moderation for the ASDAN Bronze/Silver award and passed with flying colours. The Bronze/Silver award provides students with an established certificate leading to accredited qualifications that explicitly enhances skills for learning, skills for employment and skills for life. Five students – Angel Cheung, Michael Chung, Timothy MacGeoch, Elizabeth Ng and Varun Kapoor- achieved the Silver award and one student – Kevin Shen – completed the Bronze award.
A special mention should also go to Vanessa Cross who worked extremely hard to achieve three A-C GCSEs and two ELCs in Geography and English.
Congratulations to all the students for their achievements and a big thank you to parents and staff for all their contributions and support with the ASDAN and Entry Level courses last year.
All of the achievements above – and so many more! – have been achieved by our students alongside a very large number of other Values in Action activities. Congratulations, Year 12 – and we are extremely excited about working with you during your final two years at the school!