So they have made a 6% increase in the 5A*-C inc En and Ma, which is the only measure that really counts these days. That sounds fine to me, my school had a 5% increase in the same measure. They have probably focused heavily on the C/D borderlines in English and maths to push those results up. 85% overall with 57% in En and Ma implies the use of some equivalent courses, quite possibly OCR nationals in IT and perhaps for the lower groups in science. The GCSE subject grades will probably be posted on their website soon and that will give you more of an idea which were taken as GCSEs and which as equivalents.
Our school had a jump to 54 this year from 43 last year in 5 x a-c inc e and m. Strategies were in place as 50+ was expected last year but some children just fell at the last (so to speak). This year they made sure it didn't happen again!
My son did Btecs in Sports Leadership & Engineering, equivalent to 2 GCSE passes each. It was a lot of coursework, which suits him. What made me cross was that the teachers of these subjects made no effort whatsoever to encourage their students to achieve higher than a pass (equivalent to 2 Cs). In other words the whole exercise was purely to keep up the school's high A*-C %. On the plus side, concentrating on their C/D borderliners in Maths & English helped DS3 get a C in both.
I thought so. I'm a big believer in if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.
I think i really annoyed the headmaster (seems I do it naturally) when he explained that xxx qualification was worth 4 GCSE's and I asked which four? So if a child gets a qualification in construction which is worth 4 GCSE's which four is it? Maths? English? I'm told it doesn't work that way but I don't see how you can compare apples to oranges.
Our new head seems relentlessy focussing on results which to an extent I do support but I don't want to see better results based purely on smoke & mirrors rather than better teaching and pushing students harder.