GCSE results 2019

GCSE pass rates and percentage of top grades have increased slightly in 2019, despite concern about levels of difficulty of the new exams and a changed grading systems. How have students fared across the UK?

Two girls celebrate exam results
Students across the UK received the results of their May GCSE examinations today. 

GCSE highlights

  • Pass rate was 67.3% in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • More than 20% of UK GCSE entries scored top grades, up from 20.5% in 2018
  • In England, 837 students got the top grade in all of their GCSE subjects.
  • Changes in gender entry and outcome patterns:
    • At top grades, females are closing the performance gap in Mathematics and Physics, but males are closing the gap in Biology
    • Significant rise in female entries in Computing
  • Modern Foreign Languages entries increase by 3.0%, with French remaining the most popular and Spanish increasing by 7.5% 

Ofqual infographic - GCSEs 2019
Image copyright Ofqual

GCSE: English and English Literature: Females continue to outperform males

There were increases in entries of both English and English Literature of 4.4% and 3.8% respectively. English Literature entries for 15 year-olds increased by 17.9% this year, an increase of 5,777.Outcomes in both English and English Literature are stable with very little change at the three anchor grades. There was a slight increase of 0.6 percentage points (pp) in English Literature at 7/A.Entries in both English and English Literature were above the increase in the age population, increasing by 4.4% and 3.8% respectively. This could be due to a number of factors, including:
  • change in entry patterns in Wales, with candidates who may have taken English in either summer or November 2018 now taking it in summer 2019 
  • a continuation of the trend seen last year for students to enter English at 16 years rather than at 15 years

GCSE: science, technology and mathematics

  • There was an increase in entries in both science and maths
  • Outcomes were stable in both, with marginal increases in maths with more marked improvements in sciences.
  • Females outperformed males in Biology and Chemistry, while males outperformed females in Physics.
  • Although males continued to outperform females in mathematics, the gap is narrowing.
  • Computing saw a significant increase in female entries. Females continued to outperform males in computing - 24.9% compared to 20.8* at 7/A.
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Changes to the GCSEs

Students across the UK achieved these results, despite some concern about the difficulty of the new exams. The UK government has stated that it is committed to achieving the highest standards in schools and in the past five years have changed the GCSEs in England to make them more demanding.The government says that the GCSEs are better adapted to equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed - and will also help them to develop skills that employers say they need.

How have the GCSEs changed?

The new grading scale runs from 9 to 1 instead of A* to G, with 9 the highest grade.This summer, almost all GCSEs being examined have been reformed. GCSEs have changed gradually over the past few years:
  • In the summer of 2017, the first reformed GCSEs were introduced in English language, English literature and maths.
  • In 2018, a further 20 new GCSE subjects were introduced. These included sciences, history and geography, and some modern foreign languages.
  • In 2019, a further 25 new GCSEs are being examined for the first time.
  • By 2020, all GCSEs in England will be graded using numbers instead of letters.
  • Most GCSEs taken by students in Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to be graded A* to G. To help explain the differences and similarities between GCSE qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Ofqual, the qualifications regulator in England, has produced further guidance.
Visit the official new GCSE website to learn more about the changes. 

Watch Ofqual's video explaining the changes to the GCSEs

Grade boundaries

Exam boards have spelled out their grade boundaries for this year's exams. Follow the links, below, to find out more:

When are GCSE results available?

All pupils can collect their results on the morning of Thursday, August 22, 2019. Students can either collect their results at their school, or can ask to receive results by post. Students can also arrange for a friend or relative to pick up the results (though they'll need a signed letter from you and their own ID).
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IGCSEs are no longer recognised in the UK government’s performance tables as they are now seen as easier than the new reformed GCSEs, although they remain popular with independent schools who largely chose them in the first place because they were seen as similar in style and rigour to the old O Levels, offering a more academically challenging option for the brightest pupils.You can get the full course GCSE results (Summer 2019) from the Joint Council for Qualifications

How did top schools do?

Check back for results from the schools as we will be adding them as they come in.

British School in The Netherlands

Students at the British School in the Netherlands celebrate their GCSE results
Students at the British School in the Netherlands celebrate their GCSE results
Congratulations to British School in the Netherlands’ (BSN) Year 11 students on their outstanding GCSE results with an average points score of 67 points. Prior to reforms this would have an average grade of A-.2019 BSN GCSE Results:
  • 55% of all grades were 9 - 7 (A* - A)
  • 96% of all grades were 9 - 4 (A* - C)
  • 89% of all grades were 9 – 6 (A*- B)
  • BSN Average Point Score = 67
 Paul Topping, an Executive Lead at the BSN and Headteacher of Senior School Voorschoten, is delighted that students have achieved success across the curriculum.“An excellent work ethic and good levels of personal organisation among Year 11 students have once again led to excellent outcomes at GCSE level. We are proud to celebrate the achievements of all our students in all subjects across the curriculum and additional awards gained through Key Stage 4 in co-curricular activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Bronze and Silver level."

Box Hill School

Box Hill School's A*-C / 9 – 4 pass rate is 81% and significantly ahead of the national average. A fifth of all grades were at A*- A / 9 -7. These are particularly rewarding given our non-selective approach to education with holistic learning at the core of school life.87% of all grades in Maths and also in English Language were 9 - 4, both significantly ahead of the national figures.Headmaster Cory Lowde said, "I’m so impressed with these young people, achieving such great results against the background of major changes in the structure of exams whilst also involving themselves with everything else the school has to offer. We have worked very hard over the last year to ensure, as always, that we provide extraordinary value added for every student. To see so many strong results, is a testament to everybody's hard work and it rounds off a splendid summer of achievement.”

d’Overbroeck’s announces GCSE exam results

Students at d'Overbroeck celebrate their GCSE results
d’Overbroeck’s students celebrate their GCSE results
Students at leading north Oxford independent school d’Overbroeck’s are celebrating their best ever GCSE results with 60% of grades at 9-7 (equivalent to A* or A under the old grading system).Mark Olejnik, Head of Years 7-11 at d’Overbroeck’s, says, “Once again our young people at d’Overbroeck’s have done us proud. Our students have shown real commitment and determination and have universally worked their socks off to achieve some stunning outcomes. So congratulations to them and to their tireless, dedicated teachers who have once again proved that encouragement and inspiration trump pressure and stress every time. Very well done!”d’Overbroeck’s Principal Jonathan Cuff adds, “A huge well done to our amazing students for these record results. This is a reflection of the fantastic work of the staff at - and leadership in - our Years 7-11 who continue to raise the standards of academic and pastoral care year on year. We are very proud of these results which reinforce our ethos that happy and motivated students have a real chance of success. At d’Overbroeck’s we work hard to continue to excel in creating an environment where each individual can thrive. Well done and congratulations to everyone.”Highlights:
  • 60% of grades at 9-7, of which 19% were at grade 9 (equivalent to the old A*)
  • 37% of all results at grades 9-8 (of which 19% at 9) – that’s the old A*
  • All students gained at least 5 GCSEs at 4 or higher 100% pass rate in Maths and English at grade 4 or above 99.4% of entries in all subjects were awarded grade 4 or above
  • Two students gained grade 9s in all 10 subjects. 37 students sat exams with 355 entries in total

Headington girls celebrate fantastic GCSE results

There were smiles and tears of joy as girls celebrated an amazing set of GCSE results together.In the second year since switching to the new 9-1 grading system, an incredible 34.1 per cent of all GCSEs taken at the School were graded as a 9, the highest possible level. Twenty-three girls achieved 10 or more 8s or above and four secured straight 9 grades – an outstanding achievement. The proportion of all exams taken graded at the equivalent of 8 or above was 57.3 per cent while 76.7 per cent were at a 7 or higher and an impressive 40 girls achieved 10 7s or above.In our Year of Languages, there were excellent results in both Modern and Classical Languages, with 81 per cent of all exams taken graded at 7 or above and 61 per cent at 8 or higher. There were also fantastic results in both English Language and English Literature, with 78 per cent and 68.3 per cent at 8 or above respectively – equivalent to an old A*. Nearly 57 per cent of all English Language papers were graded at the highest possible 9 grade, while two-thirds of those taking History also scored the top grade.Hannah Hodges was one of the 23 girls at Headington who achieved 10 or more 8s or higher, with one 8 and nine 9s. She said: “I’m extremely happy. I wasn’t expecting what I got, I couldn’t expect more.” She will be taking the IB programme at Headington, studying Chemistry, Biology, German, Economics, English and Maths.

King Edward's Witley

King Edward's Witley students celebrate GCSE results

GCSE results

  • Subjects graded 9-4 (A*-C): 87.1%
  • Subjects graded 9-7 (A*/A): 39%
  • % pupils gaining 5 or more GCSE’s graded 9-4 (A*-C)**: 89.1%
  • % pupils gaining 5 GCSE’s graded 9-4 (A*-C) including Maths & English*: 78.3%

There was much emotion at King Edward’s as 16-year old pupils received their GCSE and IGCSE results. King Edward’s takes pride in its academic, socio-economic and cultural diversity. The School ensures that all pupils are congratulated for their effort and dedication to achieving personal success.

Behind the statistics and results each child has a unique story. These include two local pupils from Godalming and Guildford, who achieved 100% A*/A in ten subjects putting them in a strong position to start their International Baccalaureate (IB) in September. Others are applauded for their grit and determination in passing their exams, some in the face of difficult pastoral challenges. International pupils, who joined for the one year Pre-Sixth course, also did very well. Five of them gained five or more GCSE passes at A*-C, including English and Maths; a great achievement for pupils studying in their second language.

Zeba Clarke, Deputy Head Academic, said, “We are delighted for all our pupils - boarding and day, local and international. We celebrate our gifted and talented with ten As along with those who have managed to navigate their way through academic or pastoral challenges to achieve excellent results. They, and their teachers, are energised for the work, career development and, of course, fun, that awaits them as their journey continues into the Sixth Form.”

Mrs Joanna Wright, King Edward’s new Head from September 2019, was at School to meet pupils and parents. She said, “I would like to congratulate all the Year 11s and our international Pre-Sixth cohort on their results. Taking exams and waiting for results can be a stressful time, but today our pupils can smile with relief and feel a sense of pride in what they have accomplished - some well beyond their own expectation. They are ready to continue into the next stage of their learning with confidence in their abilities and excitement about what they can achieve. I look forward to welcoming them as members of Sixth Form. I would also like to thank the School’s committed teachers who have inspired and supported pupils to achieve their best. I am excited to be joining this unique School in September and relish the opportunity of working alongside pupils and staff to build academic confidence, whilst maintaining King Edward’s key values of integrity and generosity of spirit.”

Kingham Hill School

Kingham Hill School student receives his GCSE results
As Kingham Hill GCSE pupils opened their envelopes today, nearly half the grades they saw were 9-7 (49%). Headmaster Nick Seward said “This is a testament to the excellent teaching pupils have received and of course the hard work that they have undertaken in preparing for their exams”.As well as securing fantastic grades as a cohort, today is a story of individual success with over 10% of pupils securing a perfect set of 7-9 grades (A* to A). Jack Pitman-Wallace, who received a spectacular 5 Nines and 3 Eights, said “I hadn’t really considered that I would do so well! I am really happy and would like to thank all my teachers for their support”Head of Sixth Helena Berkeley is looking forward to welcoming pupils into the Sixth Form, which celebrated its own record breaking results day last week. “I am delighted for every one of these pupils and I can’t wait to start supporting them as they embark on the next stage of their educational journey.”

Kent College students celebrate another ‘Great Haul’ of GCSE results

Students at Kent College celebrate their GCSE results
Students at Kent College celebrate their GCSE results
As students arrived to celebrate their GCSE results today, they saw how close the new Great Hall at Kent College is to completion with an official opening due on September 12th.Kent College is celebrating another year of excellent GCSE results following this summer’s examinations. The courses and the grading have changed for all subjects, and the nature of assessments has altered with much less emphasis on coursework - but the personalised approach at Kent College has ensured that students achieve a high level of success.The overall pass rate was 97% and 86% of students achieved 5 GCSEs at 4-9 (the equivalent of A*-C). The number of students who achieved 5 good GCSEs including Maths and English was similarly impressive as was the high percentage of top grades achieved. These statistics follow on from the excellent results at A level and IB already announced.Students who did particularly well include the following top performers: Sophie Devereux, May Douglas, Lily Eddy, Billy Evans, Kezia Gape, Alicia Hunt, Agata Koralewska, Viola Leung, Erin McLeod, Isabel McMeeking, Grace Morrison, Domonkos Muradin, Sam Newson, Isabella Savin, Wiebke Schuler, Rebecca Setter, Sophie Shrestha, Nathaniel Smith, Emily Waters.Executive Head, Dr David Lamper said, “The pupils have achieved an excellent set of results in spite of the changes to courses and assessments, and so have secured sound foundations for the next stage in their educational career. On top of the wonderful A level and IB results, our students can be very proud of their achievements. Congratulations to them and to all of my colleagues for the hard work which makes excellent results like these possible”

Leighton Park School

Leighton Park School students celebrate their GCSE results
Students at Leighton Park School celebrate their GCSE results
The highest proportion of top level GCSE grades for 14 years has been achieved by Leighton Park’s Year 11 students today. Celebrating 55% of results at grades 7-9 equivalent, an impressive year-on-year increase of 4% on the highest scoring results, the 84-strong cohort racked up 35% at grades 8-9 equivalent with 15% at grade 9.Matthew Judd, Head, commented, “These outstanding results represent a magnificent achievement for the Year 11 Leighton Park students. This year’s GCSE results are our best for a long time with over the half the grades at the top levels; the students and staff have worked incredibly hard to achieve these and I wholeheartedly congratulate them on this considerable success.”Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic), added, “I am delighted that the strength and support of our academic staff has provided such a positive learning environment for our students, whose efforts and commitment to their own academic progress have clearly paid off today, resulting in an fantastic set of results which, at the highest level, haven’t been bettered for more than a decade.”Keen to repeat their academic success in the Sixth Form, which ranked in the top 3% in England for academic progress, many students are already looking forward to returning in September. Annie Milhofer, whose seven grade 9s, two grade 7s and an A, secure her place to study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Design Technology. “I’m really happy; especially with my Geography result – I never expected to get a 9!” she laughed. Annie also collected her A grade in her Free Standing Maths Qualification (FSMQ) result last week on A Level results day. The FMSQ, which is taught outside the timetabled curriculum, is an opportunity for more able students to extend their Mathematics beyond GCSE and is excellent preparation for A Level.Rowan Taylor, who over the last two years has already achieved her Creative Writing AS and A Levels, was all smiles over her four grade 9s, four grade 8s, one grade 7 and an A: “It’s great, I feel brilliant!” she grinned, “I was at a different secondary school before and I honestly think I would have been one or two grades lower across all my subjects if I’d stayed there. Leighton Park gives you a real start; there are small class sizes and well qualified teachers who know how to teach to the exam. The teachers here have higher expectations.” Rowan will be joining the School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the Sixth Form.With many of her cohort off to Reading Festival over the weekend Ellie Pearson, bucked the trend with her plan for two hours of celebratory pre-season football training this evening, despite an offer of a slap-up meal from her mother! “I am very proud of her” she did work very hard.” said Mrs Pearson, “I’m just delighted! Really, really pleased with how she’s done.” “I’m shocked!” laughed Ellie, over her two grade 9s, two grade 8s and five 7s.Specialising in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) the School delivered a significant number of top level grades across the STEAM subjects. For Grades 7-9 scores for Combined Science (81%), Physics and Chemistry (both 74%) and Maths (66%) were excellent. Humanities were equally strong with History and Geography students achieving 74% and 72% grades 7-9 respectively.Hari Gupta’s parents were pleased and relieved that his grades will enable him to study Maths, Further Maths and Economics in the Sixth Form,“ Leighton Park has definitely prepared Hari better for the future.” they reflected.Jessie Sumroy was delighted with her seven grade 9s, one grade 8 and an A, “I am so happy, I couldn’t have asked for better results. It was hard work but it was worth it!”. Jessie has her sights set on a sparkling stage career as she looks forward to starting her musical theatre, dance and English Literature courses. Jessie is celebrating by going to Barcelona but not before brunch with her friend, Zel Spence Palmer, whose two grade 9s, six grade 8s and an A* have definitely earned her a blueberry pancake!Leighton Park School, located in 65 acres of beautiful parkland, opposite the University of Reading, offers GCSE students the opportunity to choose from a broad range of 27 subjects. In addition, Leighton Park also offers a rigorous one-year Pre-Sixth Form course primarily for international students seeking an intensive programme of study prior to Sixth Form.Students currently in Year 9 and their families are welcome to find out more about the GCSE or Pre-Sixth Form courses at Leighton Park at the school’s annual open morning on Saturday 28th September 2019, 9.00-11.00am. Book online at www.leightonpark.com/visitus.

Merchiston Castle School

The Merchiston fifth form achieved a sensational set of GCSE and IGCSE results, with a 93% pass rate (GCSE/IGCSE and National 5), with 57% at grades 9/8/7.

The Oratory School

The Oratory School has once again celebrated a successful set of GCSE results, with 23% of grades in the 9-8 category, 37% at 9-7, and 78% at grade 4 or higher, all significantly higher than the national average. A record 8% of all grades were grade 9.The Head Master, Mr Joe Smith, who was present to offer his congratulations to boys and parents said, “The new 9-1 GCSEs have been applied across almost all subjects and exam boards this year and there had been a significant amount of concern nationally about the toughening of syllabuses. However, the boys in our Year 11 cohort have performed admirably well and we are delighted that there was a significant increase in the percentage of top grade 9s scored by our pupils when compared with last year. A significant amount of work and preparation has gone into attaining these grades, in terms of the pupils’ independent revision, parental support and involvement in this, and also from the aspect of the extra revision sessions put on by teaching staff to assist preparation for all pupils. I am sure that the pupils will be both proud of their achievements and indeed learn from the process as they now move on to the further challenges of A Level study.”

Sevenoaks School is again celebrating outstanding examination results for Year 11

  • Over 87% of all examinations were graded A or A* equivalent
  • 116 students gained nine or more A*/A grades equivalent
The Acting Head, Theresa Homewood, said, "These results are excellent, and a superb achievement for both students and teachers. We are delighted that our students start the IB Diploma Programme with such strong qualifications." 
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