City schools celebrating success in A levels

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Students across Sheffield are receiving their A-level results - with some schools in the city reporting impressive performances.

Tapton School at Crosspool put aside fears that curriculum changes could drive results down with students achieving a four per cent increase on 2013’s pass rate at the top grades - up from 67 per cent to 71.

Four teenagers have been accepted by Oxbridge colleges while 40 per cent of candidates have gained places at top Russell Group universities.

There was good news at Tapton’s sister school, Forge Valley at Stannington, which remains officially in special measures. Its A-level pass rate was also up by four per cent, from 26 per cent to 30 per cent.

Head of sixth form for both schools Andrew Wright said Tapton’s results were its best for the second year running.

“We’ve been experiencing significant changes and general uncertainty this year with a return to more exam-based courses at both AS and A-level,” he said.

“We would have been content at Tapton to see results similar to last year, so to see improvement in this context is remarkable. As for Forge Valley, we are making real and sustainable improvement.”

Staff at Broomhill’s King Edward VII School also reported best ever results with 60 per cent of passes at the top grades, also up four per cent.

Seven students are preparing to take up places at Oxford or Cambridge.

Headteacher Bev Jackson said it had been an excellent year for the sixth form.

“We are delighted that the hard work of our students, the commitment of our teaching staff and the support of parents has yielded such superb results,” she added.

Notre Dame RC High School at Ranmoor reported a more modest improvement with a 58 per cent pass rate, up by one per cent.

Headteacher Jane Wills said students and staff had worked hard despite the context of a constantly changing educational landscape.

”Students have worked very hard for these achievements as every year the bar gets higher.

“The staff provided tremendous support and parents, students and governors appreciate the extra mile they always put in,” she added.

At the independent Sheffield High School the pass rate was up by seven per cent on last year, to 80 per cent at A*-B grades.

Standout Sheffield High student Clare Rees-Zimmerman is likely to have a school record number of A levels.

She has an unconditional offer for Trinity College, Cambridge, and is expected to achieve a grand total of nine A levels, one AS as well as an EPQ and AQA Baccalaureate qualification.

But at Sheffield College, the largest A-level provider in the city with campuses at Hillsborough, Norton, Peaks and City, results dipped slightly.

Eighteen per cent of passes were at the top A*, A and B grades, down two per cent on last year.

Executive director of student experience Bill Jones said the overall pass rate had been 95 per cent from 546 exam entries.

He said a stable pass rate had ‘minimised the decrease’ in top grades.