I was delighted to see that we had moved up 65 places compared to last year in the list of national independent school rankings position. The Sunday Times’ “Parent Power”, publicised earlier this month, showed that when looking at Ipswich High School’s GCSE results for last summer that we had the highest results in Suffolk. Furthermore, there was only a 2% difference in A*/A rate compared to the hugely selective Colchester Royal Grammar School in Essex (Ipswich High School had 70.3% A*/A rate, whereas CRGS had 72.3% A*/A). Our excellent results are without a doubt a testament to our bespoke curriculum, our dedicated teachers and hardworking pupils, who throughout their education have access to excellent pastoral care (as evidenced in our ISI inspection result from March 2017).
The decision to teach GCSE from Year 9 and offer an ‘enhanced curriculum’ to stretch and challenge pupils beyond their lessons has certainly paid off. Ipswich High School nurtures the development of learners who not only perform well in exams, but also have a genuine love of learning and an intellectual curiosity. Our students have also had support about how to study for particular subjects and expert coaching from our teachers on exam technique, as many of them are examiners at both GCSE and A Level.
We, unlike many of our competitors, offer small A Level classes, which really helps to ensure that all our students have a significant allocation of teacher “input”. The Sixth Form curriculum is very flexible, allowing students to study almost any combination of subjects that they have a deep passion for. The academic experience on offer is the best; many of our teachers are examiners and therefore have in-depth knowledge of how to advise students how to approach exam questions and lessons are carefully planned to engage students so they can master a topic. The pastoral support at Sixth Form is also excellent, with mixed year tutor groups so Year 13 students can provide peer support and a dedicated sixth form tutor who is an academic member of staff. There is, of course, the opportunity to be academically stretched and challenged through studying an EPQ, attending a vast array of enrichment activities and also acting as a subject ambassador at whole school events.
Given that next year our sixth form will be co-educational, we want our Sixth Form community to thrive and prosper in the future, and we know that our own students continuing into our Sixth Form will ensure this will happen.
|All State and Independent Secondary Schools in Suffolk LEA – (only those listed in Parent Power)|
|St Benedict’s RC School, Bury St Edmunds||27.8|
|Thomas Mills High School||23|
|King Edward VI CEVC School, Holywood||17.9|
|St Felix School||17.2|
|Lowestoft Sixth Form||BTEC (AAB) 6%|
By Nicola Griffiths, Deputy Head