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Freemen’s GCSE success following exam reforms

Freemen's students celebrate GCSE success despite major exam reforms


  • 35% of the 590 papers assessed numerically were the top grade of 9
  • 96% of all grades achieved were A*-B or 9-6
  • 83% of all grades achieved were A*-A or 7, 8 or 9
  • 64% of all grades achieved were A*, 8 or 9
  • 17 students gained 10 or more A*, 8 or 9
  • 100 % of students achieved 5 or more grades at A*-C (or grade 4 and above)

Following major examination reforms, the students and staff of City of London Freemen’s School in Ashtead have had a challenging two years where they have had to negotiate an ever-changing education landscape under increasing levels of pressure.

Picture of GCSE results for Freemen's 2018

“It is thanks to the hard work and commitment of our students, the dedication and professionalism of our teaching staff and the consistent collaboration of parents that the School is able to celebrate such impressive GCSE results,” Headmaster, Roland Martin, commented. “Being in the mixed economy of grades and numbers depending on subjects does not make for the easiest data analysis – as employers will no-doubt find in the future when they look at Curriculum Vitaes! However, we are delighted that 35% of the 590 papers assessed numerically were awarded the top grade of 9 while the percentage of examinations assessed at 9, 8, and A* overall from this group of students was an impressive 63%. This looks to have been another fantastic year at the School and I am hugely grateful to colleagues and students for their hard work and commitment.”

96% of grades at Freemen’s were graded at A*-B and 9-6 and an impressive 83% were assessed at 9-7, A* and A. These results become all the more remarkable when you consider that these same students have also spent the last two years starring in our various theatre and music productions, achieving sport 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 Award and CCF.

Infographic for City of London Freemen's School GCSE results 2018

It is no wonder then given the increase in academic expectation and workload, that the press is consistently reporting on the mental health pressures facing young people. This is why the physical and emotional wellbeing of students has become an integral part of day-to-day life at Freemen’s.

Head of Upper School, Sophie Blair, who has been taking a Senior Leadership lead in this area, remarked, “There is no doubt that there is a great deal of pressure on young people as they build towards their first set of public examinations and we have been impressed at the resilience our pupils have shown this year. 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.”

Chairman Roger Chadwick OBE, Board of Governors of the City of London Freemen's School, at the City of London Corporation, 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 Freemen’s School have been maintained. We Governors know that an enormous amount of work goes into supporting pupils’ academic and co-curricular needs at the School and there has been a drive to strengthen the pastoral support for students at Freemen’s in recent years too, which we have been enthusiastic to support so that children are best prepared for their futures. My congratulations to students, parents and staff at the School.”

Everyone at Freemen’s looks forward to watching our GCSE students as they grow and make a difference in the Sixth Form.

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