Girls at the Royal High School hit the heights with stunning GCSE results


More than half of all the GCSE/iGCSE examinations taken at the Royal High School in Bath have been awarded the very top A* and 9 and 8 grades (50.4%) with an impressive overall A*-C (and numerical equivalent) pass rate of 96%.

In a stunning set of results for the all-girls Independent school in Lansdown, seven in ten exams (69%) were awarded A*-A grades and 9-7 grades (equivalent to the old A*-A grades).

Over one in three (31.9%) of the new numerically graded exams taken was awarded the new ‘9’ grading, equivalent to the top 20% of the previous A* banding. A quarter of the year group are celebrating a phenomenal clean sweep of A*/A and 9/8 grades with nearly half of candidates achieving a run of 8 or more A*/ A or 9/8 grades.

It was an outstanding hat-trick of success for students Olivia Padwick, Ava Spencer-Jones and Alyssa McGoldrick, all from Bath, who recorded five A* grades and five ‘9’ grades apiece as they all scooped the top grades possible in their exams. Picking up her results, former Head Girl Olivia said: ‘I’m shaking – I’m so delighted that I have achieved all A* and the new 9s.’

Girls at the Royal High were experiencing the new numerical grading for the first time as the English Literature and English Language and Mathematics iGCSEs they sat have only been numerically graded for the first time this year. All of the school’s pupils received a mixture of letter and numerical gradings because the school offers the new reformed GCSEs and also iGCSEs in some subjects, many of which are still currently letter graded. Nearly two thirds of the exams taken this year at the school were numerically graded.

Girls performed well across the core subjects: in English Language and English Literature, a remarkable 71% and 79% of all girls achieved an 8 or a 9 and in Mathematics, more than five in ten (54%) scored a 7, 8 or 9 grade – well over double the national figure of 20% last year. 

One student, Lynne Ling, who secured an A* in Additional Mathematics and an A in Additional Maths (the top grade available) in Year 10 in 2017, achieved an A* with Distinction in the Further Mathematics paper today in a string of excellent grades including A*s in Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Design and Technology and two 9s in English Language and Religious Studies.

In Modern Foreign Languages, the Royal High School continues to shine and buck the national trend of a decline in the subjects. In German, a subject which is well represented at the Royal High School despite particular concerns over a steep national decline in those taking it, over three-quarters (76%) achieved an A*/A grade while in French, more than seven in ten achieved an A*/A grade (71%). 

Students also performed well in Italian (100% A*-A) and in Spanish where two-thirds of the pupils achieved the top grades of A*-A.

Head Mrs Jo Duncan said: ‘It is – and will be –  difficult to compare year on year results as we are in the middle of a period of change in the examination system but, as far as the very top grades go, we are well above our A* performance of 2017 – which is a fantastic achievement for our girls – who – like all other young people in England today – have been faced with wholescale changes in the examination system – through the reformed GCSEs and the new grading.’

She added: ‘We are delighted that our students have coped so well and performed so well this year and thanks also go to our staff who have guided them throughout their studies. We look forward to their continued success in the Royal High Sixth Form.’