FENLAND: Success for GCSE students compared to results obtained last year

BY MAGGIE GIBSON FENLAND S GCSE students did better this year than last, with overall performance improving well above the average rate across Cambridgeshire. Three colleges, Neale-Wade Community College, March; Sir Harry Smith College, Whittlesey; and T

BY MAGGIE GIBSON

FENLAND'S GCSE students did better this year than last, with overall performance improving well above the average rate across Cambridgeshire.

Three colleges, Neale-Wade Community College, March; Sir Harry Smith College, Whittlesey; and Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech; significantly improved their average total point scores for each student.

Neale-Wade Community College showed the biggest increase in the percentage of students successfully gaining five or more GCSEs A* - C with a massive jump from 46 to 67 per cent.


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Average total point score for each student at Thomas Clarkson rose from 261.2 last year to 354.7.

But more support is to be given to youngsters in a group of Fenland primary schools which have been invited to be part of a project aimed at raising aspirations and achievements. It is hoped help given at this stage will improve results even further.

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The project aims to explore in detail the barriers which face children and seek ways of improving their chances of success.

Latest figures show that at the end of their first year at school children in Fenland are above the national average in their levels of performance but the Fenland average hides a wide range - 70 per cent of children in Whittlesey achieved that standard but only 49 per cent of children in March and Chatteris; and 44 per cent of children in Wisbech. The rate in Wisbech was the lowest of all 14 localities in Cambridgeshire.

Local authorities must pay special attention to the performance of children living within the 30 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods in England and to report their scores separately - there are 10 such primary schools in Fenland.

A report says that Foundation Stage Profile scores show clear evidence of the relationship between achievement and deprivation but 39 per cent of free school meal children in Fenland achieve the threshold compared with 31 per cent across the other districts.

By the time youngsters reach the end of Key Stage Two most children meet the Level Four threshold. Percentage rates are highest in science and lowest in maths. Girls are out performing boys in English and science but boys are doing slightly better in maths.

Just half of children eligible for a school free meal achieve a combination of Level Four or above in both English and maths - 13 per cent of children in this age group in Fenland qualify for free school meals.

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