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Another year of impressive GCSE successes at Freemen’s despite a return to formal examinations

  • 42% of grades achieved were 9s
  • 69% of grades were 8s or 9s
  • 86% of grades were 7, 8 or 9s
  • 29 students achieved all 8s and 9s

Students at City of London Freemen’s School in Ashtead are celebrating impressive GCSE results this year, despite the disruption of the last two years. 69% of all grades achieved were 8 or 9 and the percentage of 9 grades achieved (42%) reflects the resilience shown by Freemen’s students.

Despite a general trend across education settings seeing a reduction in top grades compared to the results from the last two years, Freemen’s 2022 GCSE results have not seen a significant fall.

Headmaster, Roland Martin, commented, “These GCSE results are impressive, and our students, staff and parents should rightly be proud of these achievements. We are delighted that 42% of the papers assessed were awarded the top grade of 9 and I am delighted that in a difficult context that pupils at Freemen’s have done so well.”

Such continued excellence is reassuring, given the impact of the pandemic on students’ school and home lives. These results mark a return to the traditional set of exam outcomes since the COVID-19 challenges resulted in the nationwide use of Centre Assessed Grades in 2020, and Teacher Assessed Grades last year. 

“I should like to extend huge congratulations to our students who have demonstrated such a commitment to their studies, given the challenges they have had over the last two years. They should be admired for the way in which they have approached their learning given the inevitable compromises to their school life they have experienced as a result of the pandemic,” said Roland Martin, Headmaster at City of London Freemen’s School. 

“In addition, these results are testament to the emphasis the School has placed on pastoral care and the importance of mental health and wellbeing of our students. They also reflect the rigour Freemen’s previously put in place to provide accurate results during the pandemic. In the absence of centralised examinations in 2020 and 2021, we ensured our students produced outcomes which are a true representation of their talents. This is now playing out in the largely consistent set of results produced this year, on the return of the first set of formal examinations since 2019,” added Mr Martin. 

In line with the A Level results there has been a much smaller than expected deflation of the top grades for Freemen’s students. Whilst nationally results have been brought back towards 2019 parity it appears that Freemen’s results have been deflated less than the national average. This reflects not only the hard work of our students and staff in 2022 but also the integrity and professionalism Freemen’s applied to the 2020 and 2021 grading requirements.

“In the context of these solid results, it must not be overlooked that our students continue to flourish outside the classroom in music and drama, as well as achieving success as part of our sports teams and regularly volunteering within the local community, not to mention all that they have accomplished in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and CCF, which cannot be reflected in exam grades,” noted Mr Martin.

Supporting students in maintaining a balance between academic studies and emotional and physical wellbeing is an important part of day-to-day life at Freemen’s. This has become a key priority for the School, particularly throughout the pandemic and no doubt has played a part in the success story of this year’s GCSE results.

Head of Upper School, Sophie Blair remarked, “There is certainly a great deal of pressure on young people as they build towards their first set of public examinations notwithstanding the impact of a global pandemic, and we have been impressed at the resilience our pupils have continued to demonstrate. Freemen’s pupils have not only excelled themselves academically, but have also maintained perspective, supported their peers and prioritised their own emotional wellbeing over the last two years. We are hugely proud of every single one of them.”

Philip Woodhouse, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the City of London Freemen's School, was enthusiastic about this year’s outcomes. “After last week’s very impressive A Level results it was encouraging to hear more good news this week and to see that the excellent academic standards at the School have been maintained, despite the challenges all schools have faced as we navigated COVID-19. We appreciate that an enormous amount of work goes into supporting pupils’ academic and co-curricular needs at our school and there has been a drive to strengthen the pastoral support for students at Freemen’s in recent years too, so that children are best prepared for their future. My congratulations to students, parents and staff at the School and I look forward to your return for the new school year.”

We look forward to welcoming the students back into the Sixth Form at the start of the new academic year, where – along with 35 new students joining from other schools -  they will begin an exciting journey of study in the visionary Sixth Form centre. Having been opened in September 2021, the new facility has been developed to ensure that students in the Sixth Form have the best education possible.