A-level results: St Angela's Ursuline headteacher's warning as Forest Gate school celebrates another successful year
PUBLISHED: 13:12 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:36 15 August 2019
A headteacher has warned youngsters could be put off studying maths and English at A-level on the day his school celebrates another year of success.
Mark Johnson of St Angela's Ursuline in St George's Road, Forest Gate, said recent reports of youngsters only needing to get half the answers right on the A-level maths paper to get an A grade were missing the point.
Mr Johnson, a maths teacher with 25-years' experience, said: "This assessment is actually wrong.
"A 55 per cent pass rate for an A might seem like [the subject] is being dumbed down, but it's actually because [the exam boards] are making the paper so inaccessible."
He added he would be sharing his concerns with the exam board Pearson, which last month wrote to schools to assure them it would look into how well its A-level maths papers measured students' abilities.
St Angela's headteacher joined fellow school leaders in calling for changes to GCSE English which has been blamed for a national decline in the number of youngsters taking the subject at A-level.
"GCSE English is not as exciting as it should be. At St Angela's we usually recruit well for English A-level. We will continue our hard fight to make sure these important subjects don't dwindle," Mr Johnson said.
This year saw St Angela's sixth formers achieve an overall A-level pass rate of 99.8pc with almost 80pc of students achieving A*-C grades.
Just under half of Year 13s scooped grades A*-B.
"With the more challenging A-level examinations, we are really pleased that the percentage of pass results are on a par with last year. The governors, teachers and parents are a vital part of this success," Mr Johnson said.
There were a lot of happy youngsters clutching results envelopes at the school including 17-year-old Maggie Georgieva who scooped A grades in maths and further maths as well as a B in psychology.
"I'm relieved the wait is finally over," she said.
On her success, Maggie, who arrived in the UK aged 10 from Bulgaria with basic English, added: "I just had to put my head down and focus."
Fellow student, Louise Craig, scooped two As and a B in in history, psychology and French.
On how she planned to celebrate, the 18-year-old said: "I'm going to bed. I didn't sleep at all last night."