Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Welcome back to Claires Court for another fully-committed and high-energy Academic Year.  Please do read my last post, Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it,  in which I highlight the sweet and the sour of the Summer, celebrating the best of our students’ results at A level and GCSE, opening up as they do other doors for their future, and somewhat selfishly reflecting that if only he had them for one more term…

We have received two major pieces of evidence this week, both of which highlight just how well our Sixth Form provision promotes excellence for all in our care.  Here is what the Edexcel Art Moderator wrote to our Head of Art, Jan Price.

” I would like to thank the centre for taking the time to talk me through the course structure, and congratulate them on the accuracy and rigor applied to its assessment. The centre should celebrate and feel confident in its richly mature and dynamic approach to Art practice; I would happily recommend the centre to Edexcel as a model for its exemplary standards. Thank you for all your hard work and hospitality in respect of this moderation. It was a pleasure visiting such an exciting and organised centre.”

Now lets face it, dear reader, it is difficult not to swell with pride reading that.  We have received general praise for other departments too, from History to PE, and I don’t think I have ever had a Faculty of Teachers quite so strong as just now.  And here’s an example of one of our colleagues, Huw Buckle, Head of Y11, teacher of Business Studies and Master in charge of Cricket, as reported in the Press:

Berkshire Cricket Coach of the Year 2014

Congratulations to Huw Buckle, teacher at Claires Court who has been awarded ‘Coach of the Year for Berkshire’ by the ECB (English and Wales Cricket Board) Coach Awards. The award is in recognition for his contribution to Girls’ cricket, having been instrumental in developing the Girls’ Section at Maidenhead & Bray, which is now in its third year.

Several of the Claires Court Girls play for the teams, who have had great success, winning the U12 County Championship in 2013, the U14 County Championship this year and later in September the U12 Girls are in the County Final again.

Mr Buckle received the award during the recent England v India Test match at the Oval, where he was presented with his certificate by former England batsman Mark Ramprakash, on the pitch during the lunch interval.

This broad ability school also received really strong A level and GCSE results in August for our students, and here’s a sample of our reporting of that on our website:

100% Pass Rate at Claires Court – Exceeding the National Average

For the third year in a row, Claires Court students are celebrating a 100% pass rate at A Level, with 19.6% of the grades at A* and A, up nearly 6% on last year. This marks a year of excellent academic and personal achievements for students at the school with over 93% getting their favoured University choices.

Across a wide range of subjects the grades reflected the hard work of students and staff, Andy Giles, Head of Sixth Form said: “This is a fantastic set of results, we encourage our students to aim high and they have been justly rewarded for their hard work. Our cohort has a diverse ability and it is pleasing to see across a breadth of subjects, from chemistry to economics, art and psychology, success and achievement of such a high quality. We wish them all the very best for the future.”

What our Academic Auditor, CEM Centre University of Durham feeds back to us is how our performance as an  institution  stacks up against all other schools in their project, which covers over 50% of all A levels sat. In 2013, our performance placed us in the top 20% of schools, and this year we have moved up a gear and now are  placed  in the top 15% of Sixth Forms. The most important message of all is that our best do as well as the best, whatever their core natural ability or intelligence.  Some entered the Sixth Form with 6A* or more, others with 2Bs and some Cs, yet by their own lights they have achieved so very much at the highest end of their capabilities.

We started school today, Thursday 4 September with some 994 pupils on roll, and we have 3 more students to join us who arrive next week.  We have a further 4 children in the pipeline for a new start this month, so I have my fingers crossed we’ll nudge past 1000 any time soon.  And that number is a great achievement in these times of austerity; in itself indicative of tremendous confidence our parents and wider community have in us to nurture, inspire, engage and  energize  the young boys and girls in our care.

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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