King's Celebrates Student Successes

This has been a week of some turmoil for many of the King’s College A level candidates. The results last Thursday were strong, but it was clear that a number of our students had been badly served by the Ofqual algorithm.

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18th August 2020 — We are delighted that this unfairness has now been corrected, and that the carefully-considered teacher assessments have been accepted.

This was a strong year group, and there were some excellent results. The overall A* to B rate was 71.4%, with a 100% pass rate. In all, 19 students gaining three or more A or A*s. The great majority of students who had offers from universities have been accepted onto their first or second choice courses; along with students across the country, we are grateful to universities for showing understanding and flexibility in these difficult and confusing times.

King’s students have gained places at some of the country’s leading universities this year, including Oxford, Imperial, UCL, KCL, Durham, Nottingham, Manchester and Exeter.

Students gaining three or more A*s or As were Vanessa Chan (A*A*A*A*), Will Smeed (A*A*A*A*), Katie Clarke (A*A*A*B), Oliver Biggs (A*A*A*), Loveday Hedgcock (A*A*A*), Lucy M (A*A*A*), Millie Sharp (A*A*A*), Victoria Zhang (A*A*AA), Chris Gu (A*A*A), Anna Lewis (A*A*A), William Richmond (A*A*A), Alec Sprague (A*A*A), Ellie Clist (A*AA), Alice Dymond (A*AA), Joe Gill (A*AA), Liberty Rodwell-Lynn (A*AA), Archie Wright (A*AA), Rueben Lindsay-Smith (AAA)and Henry Vijayaratnam (AAA)

William Smeed has just signed a two-year contract with Somerset Cricket Club. A top cricketer but also, as evidenced by his excellent A level results, a fine academic. Lucy M was the school’s Head Girl, a keen member of the school choir and Big Band, and played first team hockey. She has a place at Edinburgh University to read Classics and English. Millie Sharp has a place at Durham to read Geography. Anna Lewis will study Engineering at Manchester, Ellie Clist Medicine at Plymouth, Katie Clarke Biosciences at Durham, Chris Gu Mathematics at UCL and Alice Dymond (like William, a fine cricketer) English and History at Birmingham.

Subjects which performed particularly well this year, on the measure of the percentage of grades A* to B, include French, Further Mathematics, Latin, Music, Music Technology, Photography and Spanish (all 100%), along with Drama (88%), Art (86%), PE (85%), Philosophy (80%), Geography (77%), Physics (77%), Business Studies (74%), Economics (73%) and English (72%).

King’s College is also very proud of this year’s record results for students taking the Sports BTEC course. Of the six candidates, Amelia McEacharn achieved three starred Distinctions, equivalent to three A*s at A level, while Keira Johnstone gained two starred Distinctions and a Distinction, and Ethan Badcock and Joseph Rutherford gained three Distinctions each.

The Headmaster, Richard Biggs, has commented: “At the end of this strangest of years, I want to congratulate with all my heart our wonderful, hardworking students, and to thank their teachers for their support and guidance. All of our Upper Sixth kept up a terrific pace of effort and interest well into the Summer Term, throwing themselves with enthusiasm into the excellent remote programme we put in place. It is such a shame that these men and women have not had a chance to show their true academic credentials under exam conditions. I am delighted that, after several days of confusion and, for some, disappointment, our own Centre Assessed Grades have been accepted. We went through a careful, measured process of generating those grades and I am confident that they are a more accurate reflection of the abilities and efforts of this strong year group.

As our excellent results over the past two years show (77% A* to B last year, 71% this year), we are a leading academic school in the West Country, and we are extremely proud of the high standards consistently set by our students. As always, the strong results this year should be seen against a backdrop of astonishingly varied involvement in a wide range of activities by our senior students. They have been outstanding leaders, they have grabbed the opportunities on offer at King’s and they have certainly left their mark. I know they are going to make a success of their lives – they are a fantastic bunch of men and women, who have managed the challenges of this final year with a mature, measured dignity. I congratulate them once again, and look forward to following their future progress.”

About King's College Taunton

King's College is an independent co-educational boarding and day school in Taunton, Somerset with over 460 pupils aged 13-18 years.

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