Outstanding A Level Results for MSJ
Thursday 17th August, was Results Day for A Level students up and down the country. After many nail-biting weeks, the big reveal is here.
For Malvern St James Girls’ School it has been an outstanding year with many exceptional achievements.
Out of a cohort of 61 girls, over a quarter of all A Level entries (28%) achieved A*, over half (54%) A*-A, and over three quarters (76%) A*-B.
There are some very impressive individual performances, with more than one third of girls (twenty-three) gaining three A* and A combinations, four girls gaining four straight A*s and five girls gaining three straight A*s.
Four girls have confirmed places at Cambridge and Oxford Universities to read History and Politics, Engineering, Modern & Medieval Languages, and Biomedical Sciences respectively, with one further awaiting confirmation for Mathematics at Cambridge.
This year’s results represent the highest pass rate in the last four years at 99.5%, and across all grade levels they are amongst the very best achieved in the same period, with A* grades in particular significantly up. Overall, 90.6% of students achieved A*-C grades.
Looking at performance by subject, out of 26 total subjects taken at A Level, three achieved 100% A* grades; six achieved 100% A*-A; 11 achieved 100% A*-B; and 20 achieved 100% A*-C.
Stand-out subjects include Further Mathematics which achieved 100% A*-A grades; German, Geography and History achieving 100% A*-B; English Literature achieving 82% A*-B; Mathematics, 78% A*-B; French, 67% A*; Product Design and Latin both achieving 100% A*; and Extra-Curricular Russian 100% A*-A.
PE (BTEC) achieved 100% Distinction* (regarded as equivalent to an A Level A*) and Music (BTEC) achieved 100% Distinction* and Distinction.
STEM subjects are a real strength of MSJ, with far more girls than average studying these subjects at A Level. In addition to the impressive Maths and Further Maths awards, almost 43% of girls achieved an A* or A in Chemistry and almost two-thirds an A*-B; in Physics half of girls achieved an A*-A and almost two-thirds an A*-B; whilst in Biology, more than a third achieved A*-A and half achieved A*-B.
The school has also seen excellent results for those girls who have taken the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is becoming increasingly well regarded and advocated amongst universities. It is seen as excellent preparation for study at university and in occasional cases universities will offer on the strength of an EPQ. MSJ has achieved an almost clean sweep of A*-A in the EPQ results.
Such exceptional results mean that the overwhelming majority of students have sailed into their first choice university and course. Over 60% have offers for the top 10 UK universities.
Headmistress, Mrs Olivera Raraty, comments, “I am delighted with today’s results which see our girls heading to the best universities in the UK, as well as some to America and other international destinations. They have worked hard to achieve these results and they are very well-deserved.”
“There has been widespread comment about A Level results this year as Year 13s are the first to sit the new reformed examinations. Media reporting has highlighted the significant uncertainty about outcomes, as these exams are more demanding. In light of this, our results are all the more impressive as they reflect the huge amount of hard work by the girls themselves and very dedicated teachers in preparing for the new specifications.”
“This set of results shows the value-added aspect of an MSJ education. Whatever a girl’s starting point, we will ensure that she has the very best teaching and learning experience which will allow her to achieve her personal best. I am just as delighted for girls who have achieved a B or C in a subject they found difficult as I am for the girls who have achieved straight As. What is important is that each and every girl gets the opportunity to study a course they enjoy and can do well in at university, and the experience is a fulfilling one.”
“I would like to thank the teaching staff and house staff who have guided these girls through their Sixth Form career and have contributed to today’s success. Youngsters cannot achieve unless they feel happy in a purposeful and caring environment, and this is a particular strength of MSJ. Girls are challenged and stretched, and always well-supported.”
This year’s A Level students are the first cohort to graduate from MSJ under the leadership of Headmistress Mrs Olivera Raraty, who took up the role in September 2016. Previously, Mrs Raraty was Senior Deputy (Academic) at Notting Hill and Ealing High School in west London and Assistant Director of Studies at Wycombe Abbey School, both high-achieving and sector-leading schools. She has been credited with reinvigorating academic life at MSJ and encouraging innovation in the classroom and beyond.
It has been a buoyant year for the School. In the Spring, the rigorous Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) awarded MSJ the highest rating of ‘excellent’ for pupils’ academic and other achievements and their personal development. The report refers to the leadership of the school having an ‘ambitious vision’ for all of its pupils.
Mrs Raraty continued, “I’m proud of today’s academic results, but I am just as proud of what our Leavers have brought to broader school life. Through their time here, they have shown determination, maturity and a sense of fun. They have been fully involved in our school community and its leadership, as prefects, captains, club and society leaders, and mentors to younger years. They have also shown themselves to be talented sportswomen, musicians, actors, debaters, charity fundraisers, linguists, artists and more. It’s this rounded education and the soft skills it fosters that will equip them for taking their place in the wider world and bring them personal fulfilment. I wish them the very best for the future, and I hope that they will continue to come back to school to talk to younger generations about their experiences.”