Fakenham High School head teacher disappointed at drop in GCSE results but confident about the future

Fakenham High School head teacher Matthew Parr-Burman has expressed disappointment after a drop in overall GCSE results at the school this year, but is confident recent changes will help bring about improvements in the future.

The percentage of students who gained five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths was 42pc, 7pc down on last year, and the percentage of students gaining five A* to C grades in any subjects was 57pc, compared to 64pc in 2011.

Mr Parr-Burman said: 'We are disappointed with our GCSE results for 2012. They show a drop in the overall grades.

'Despite this there were many outstanding results of individual students and it is clear that where students worked hard they achieved excellent grades.

'Our results seem to have been adversely affected by the national tightening of science and English grades that has been well reported in the media in recent days.


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'We are confident that recent changes at the school over the last year will have a positive impact on results for the future.'

Mr Parr-Burman said changes included a closer monitoring system of students' progress and changing the culture within the school.

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He said: 'We are working to try to create more of a community feel within the school. I found, when I came to here, that, although some students were working hard and achieving excellent grades, there was not an overall strong culture of hard work within the school. We are now starting to change that.'

Mr Parr-Burman said the school's results were hit by what he sees has 'harsh' marking on English exams.

He said: 'Nationally I know several local authorities are challenging the marking on English papers and a number of head teachers have said their English results have been hammered this year.

'We have a lot of students on the C/ D border line and many of them have ended up with D grades in English because the marking has been harsher in this subject than in previous years. This has had a big impact on our overall results.'

Jason Cobley, head of English at Fakenham High School, added: 'We think that in some cases [harsher marking of English papers] has happened but overall we've seen some good individual successes.'

Charles Harding 16, from Foxham, said: 'I'm going to go to Reepham College to study law, English language and social and philosophical ethics. I missed out on getting an A in English, but in all fairness I probably didn't work hard enough to deserve an A*.'

James Crawford, 16, from Cley, said: 'I just did my best, but didn't do as well as I wanted.'

Year 10 students George Buck, 15, from Great Ryburgh, Lucy Payne, 15, from Fakenham and Emily Matthews, 15, from Thornage, sat GCSEs a year early.

George said: 'I'm reasonably happy, English was okay, I got an A* and I'm hoping to get good grades next year and join the police after school.'

Lucy said: 'I got pretty good marks overall' and Emily added: 'I'm quite happy with what I got, I'm also hoping to join the police force after next year.'

Bryn Jones said: 'I'm a bit disappointed to be fair, I was expected to get better grades, but I did put the work in. English is much lower than in my mocks.'

Emma Reed, 15, from Fakenham said: 'I did much better in my mock English and Geography than I have in the GCSE, I'm a bit disappointed.'

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