Essex celebrates Key Stage 3 success

PUPILS across Essex have been praised after the latest national league tables showed they were above average.

Annie Davidson

PUPILS across Essex have been praised after the latest national league tables showed they were above average.

The Government's Key Stage 3 results have been released today, with the results based on tests taken by 14-year-olds last May in English, maths and science.

In Essex 76% of pupils achieved the required standard (Level 5) in English, 76% in mathematics and 74% in science.

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Nationally, 76% of 14-year-olds made the grade in maths, 74% in English and 73% in science.

Among the schools celebrating is King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, which was top school in the county and is also in the top 200 schools nationally ranked by its aggregate scores across the three subjects.

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Chelmsford County High School for Girls, Colchester Royal Grammar School and Colchester County High School for Girls also made the top 200.

Notley High School, Braintree, was in the top 100 schools nationally for its value added score, which shows the progress students have made since Key Stage 2. It also topped the table for that section within the county.

Sir Charles Lucas Arts College in Colchester, is in the top 100 schools nationally that have made the most improvement between 2004 and 2007.

Bishops Park College, Clacton is in the bottom 100 schools nationally according to its value added score.

It is also in the bottom 200 schools nationally ranked by aggregate scores across English, maths and science, a list also including Colbayns High School, Clacton, and St Peters College, Chelmsford.

Simon Walsh, the Essex county councillor in charge of schools, children and families, said: “I am pleased that Essex remains ahead of the game nationally. These are impressive results and I would like to congratulate pupils, teachers and parents for their efforts.”

Dr Michael Walker, headteacher at King Edward VI Grammar School, in Chelmsford, said: “This is a tremendous accolade and speaks volumes about the school and its teaching practices. It is testament not only to the high quality of teaching but also to the motivation and hard work of the students who get the results.”

But Ken Jenkinson, headmaster at Colchester Royal Grammar School, said the Key Stage 3 results were not something they gave much prominence to.

“However, it is pleasing to see that students have done particularly well in the value-added tables because these show that they have made excellent progress from a very high baseline,” he added.

Jude Hanner, principal at the Sir Charles Lucas Arts College in Colchester, said going “back to basics” had paid dividends.

She said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the improvements that have been made. We tried to get the message across about working very hard.

“It was about getting the children engaged and making sure they knew what was expected of them and once that has been accepted, the message starts to spread.”

Simon Thompson, headteacher at Notley High School in Braintree, which came 26th nationally, said they were “delighted” with the results.

“We have put a great deal of effort into our teaching and learning practices and this result seems to suggest that they are paying dividends,” he said.” Our congratulations go to all the pupils.”

Jeff Brindle, principal at Clacton County High School, said he was “extremely pleased with the Key Stage 3 results” which saw the school ranked in 45th place.

“These results fully reflect the hard work of staff and students,” he said.

Caroline Haynes, principal at Tendring Technology College which has sites in Frinton-on-Sea and Thorpe-le-Soken, said the school had a value added score of more than 1,000 which meant it had achieved exactly what it was supposed to and she was “delighted”.

“We are particularly pleased with science results which put us in the top 25% of schools in the country,” she added.

Nardeep Sharma, principal at Colne Community College, Brightlingsea, said the college which was ranked 40th in the tables, had made “continuing upward progress” in the 2007 Key Stage 3 tests.

Sarah Dignasse, headteacher of the Plume School in Maldon, which was 37th said she was pleased with the ranking but was even more happy with the school's value added results which put Plume in the top 20% in the country in terms of pupil improvement.

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