A level results 2022: students outperform trends

Students from Taunton School, Millfield and LVS Ascot are among those who overcame the odds and earned top grades this summer as the number of A- and A*-graded A levels fell as external exams returned.

Taunton School students jump for joy on A level results day

Taunton School students celebrate A level results day 2022

For A level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 36.4% of grades awarded were A and A*. This proportion was down from 44.8% in 2021 as Ofqual, the examinations regulator, sought to synch grading with pre-pandemic trends.Around one in seven entries were awarded an A* (14.6%) as entries were assessed externally for the first time in two years. This figure is up from 2019’s proportion of 7.7%, but down from 2021’s 19.1%.
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Overseas, too, schools and students worked hard to buck the trends. At the Alice Smith School, a British international school in Kuala Lumpur, this year's Sixth Form cohort achieved a 100% pass rate, with 34% of all grades at A* and 86% A*-B, the school’s highest-ever rate. The school's Secondary Principal, Dr Maria Osowiecki, "couldn't be prouder," adding, "Our Year 13 students were unable to sit their (I)GCSE exams back in 2020. They have been through so much and yet they have achieved our highest ever A* to B results at A Level. This is incredible.”

Cheer for LVS Ascot as students outperform 2021

After a challenging few years with exams and teaching being affected by the pandemic, LVS Ascot A level students were also among those surpassing expectations. Despite the record drop in top grades nationally, LVS Ascot students increased the number of A* grades by 50% from 2021. By 8am on results day, the Berkshire co-educational independent day and boarding school’s Year 13 Class of 2022 were celebrating a fantastic set of results, with 39 students offered their first choice of university. Head Boy, Kiertan, achieved three A*s and goes on to take his place at Imperial College, London. “I am really happy with my results, the support I have received from the teachers at LVS has impacted the grades I got today. I wish everyone the best of luck for their next steps.”The all-ability school for children 4 to 18 offers the English curriculum alongside sporting, performing and creative opportunities. Joel, who took BTECs, said, “The small class sizes and support that each student receives enabled me to achieve great results. I am excited for my next steps at LSBU to take Media Production.”“We are so proud of all our pupils who have shown such resilience after not taking formal exams for two years, each and every one of them should be so proud of their outstanding results,” said Principal, Christine Cunniffe. “We are so delighted that our results this year are the highest they have been in a decade, this is a testament to not only our students but our staff.”

St George’s Ascot continues upwards momentum

Continuing their pre-pandemic success, the students and teaching staff at St George’s Ascot, an English curriculum boarding and day school for girls aged 11-18, achieved 100% A*-A in French, 57% A*-A in Maths and 100% A*-B in Geography, Chemistry, Politics, Drama and Fine Art among other impressive outcomes. In addition, nearly all Sixth Formers at St George’s undertake the EPQ, an independent research project highly regarded by universities, and this year’s results were outstanding with 71% at A*-A grades.Students are now heading off to a variety of further education institutions including Oxford, UCL, Durham, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Brighton universities and a number of Arts colleges, to study a range of subjects across the sciences, humanities and creative arts.

King’s Ely bucks the national trend

This year the percentage of A* grades achieved at King’s Ely – a co-educational independent nursery, day and boarding school for children aged 2-18 in Cambridgeshire, which offers international programmes and intensive one-year IGCSE courses – also rose from 14% in 2019 to 22% in 2022. The percentage of A*-B grades also improved from 59% to 75%.Of the 94 students in King’s Ely’s 2022 Year 13 cohort, 29 pupils achieved all A* and A grades in their subjects and 56 students have secured all A*-B grades. This year, 46% of results are A*-A and 89% are A*-C. This excellent set of results after the past two years’ disruption ensures King’s Ely students have secured places at their first-choice university or institution in the UK and internationally.Jonathan Shaw, Head of King’s Ely Senior, said: “We are very proud of our Year 13 students, who have achieved some fantastic grades. This year’s cohort were under a particular amount of pressure given the circumstances of the last two years, and so today’s results will be a relief and cause for celebration."In a year of almost unprecedented demand for university places, I am delighted that our fantastic leaving students have been so successful in getting the grades they need and finding such an exciting array of courses, institutions, and career paths to move on to. That is reflective of their own creativity and hard work but also, I hope, the confidence, ambition, and imagination that their time here at King’s has brought them. We wish them the very best for what I know will be valuable and fulfilling futures. Congratulations to our pupils for their resilience, to our teachers for their teaching and guidance, and to our parents for their support.”King’s Ely’s highest achiever this year, Eleanor, achieved four A*s and is heading to Trinity College Cambridge to read Mathematics.Another top performer, Annie, is heading to the University of St Andrews to study Arabic and French (with a year abroad). “My ideal career after university would be to work for the UN in a job where I can continue to speak and learn different languages," said Annie, relating her success to King's Ely's international outlook. "My love of languages has been nurtured amazingly by the MFL Department at King’s. Our teachers are all so supportive of us and genuinely care about us as individuals, which I think really matters.”As well as A Levels, King’s Ely also offers vocational Level 3 qualifications in Food and Nutrition and Business Studies: 88% of marks in modules taken this summer were at least a Merit.

Taunton School students show fortitude

At Taunton School, an independent co-educational day and boarding school for children 0-18 in Somerset, which includes an international school for students aged 7-18, almost half (48%) of all its qualifications were graded A*-A or equivalent in the first exam session since the pandemic.Grades A*-B accounted for 72% of all results in the 30 subjects the school offers. In BTEC, 96% of grades were either Distinction* or Distinction (equivalent to A* or A), with 100% of BTEC business students achieving all Distinction* or Distinction. Four students excelled to achieve four A*s, six achieved three A*s and three BTEC students secured three Distinction*s each. These A level and BTEC results follow the school’s IB cohort achieving a world-average-beating 34.3.Taunton School’s Headmaster, Lee Glaser, congratulated everyone who sat exams this year, adding, “This year’s cohort has shown great resilience and determination to bounce back and excel in the Sixth Form following the cancellation of GCSEs in 2020. Supported by committed staff they have worked hard to reach their potential and maintain such high standards through trying times. They have shown fortitude and maturity throughout the pandemic and we are all incredibly proud of their achievements.”

Millfield School breaks its own record in 2022 for arts achievements

Also in southwest England, twins Elena and Rosa were among those securing top marks – three A* grades each – at Millfield School, Somerset, a co-educational independent school for children aged 2-18 following the English GCSE and A level curriculum.The eighteen-year-old sisters’ identical attainment saw Elena receive A*s in A level Biology, Spanish and Product Design and Rosa A*s in French, Maths and Product Design. Although attending the same school, they only share one class and have been in different classes since Year 6 at Millfield Prep School. Elena and Rosa are now destined for Exeter and Edinburgh universities to continue their studies in biological sciences and architecture respectively.Millfield is also celebrating the success of its art students and the breadth and depth of its curriculum offering. They achieved a school-record-breaking set of A level results with an outstanding 10 A*s and 7 As. Students now plan to take up their places on a range of creative courses at university with destinations including Chelsea College of Art, Central St Martins, London College of Fashion, Goldsmiths, Kingston, Loughborough, Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan, Cardiff Met, Oxford Brookes, Falmouth and the Instituto Marangoni. Director of Art, Paul Maxfield, said, “Students on the A level Art and Design course, the Photography A level course and the BTEC Art & Design Extended Diploma have all done exceptionally well this year. They have achieved the highest grades by pursuing their own creative journeys.”

Kent College creates pathways for every learner

Pupils at Kent College, Canterbury – a co-educational international and English curriculum boarding and day school that is part of the KC family of schools including KC Dubai, KC Cairo, KC Hong Kong and EXKCEL, which provides pre-university English language courses – have also been celebrating excellent results in their A Levels and Cambridge Technicals today. This follows the news earlier this summer of its IB students’ equally impressive grades.Head of Kent College, Canterbury, Mark Turnbull, said, “We all know that this is a cohort that has faced significant challenges over the past three years and these results are such a credit to the students' tenacity in maintaining their progress and courage to endure in circumstances never faced before.“Every single student has been on their own journey. We believe pretty passionately in not academically selecting students, but rather making sure that each is on a pathway that suits them and feels individually supported. It is really pleasing to see that this works, with students now looking forward to a great diversity of courses at top universities.”Sharing her individual KC journey, Ellie, who will be studying Medicine at Leicester University after achieving 4 A Levels at A*, and who started in Reception 13 years ago, said that “the supportive community at KC takes care of everyone, with staff going out of their way to help.”Head Girl, Ella, a Canterbury first-team hockey player, will now study Geography at Birmingham University. She believes KC is focused on developing the whole person. “Kent College 100% made a difference in supporting me through my senior years and helping to balance my sporting commitments alongside my studies.“I initially signed up for the IB, then changed to A Levels and then changed my choice of A Levels halfway through the autumn term. Teachers were so supportive and understanding, adapting my timetables to accommodate my changes and always willing to help and provide reassurance.”Max will be going to Brighton University, taking Mechanical Engineering. He found the support he received from the Dyslexia team at KC a “massive influence” on his learning, but also for the help they provided in suggesting coursework-based pathways such as electronics and DT, helping him to achieve an A*, A and a Business Diploma.Gabby having been awarded 3 A*s is reading Biomedical Sciences at Bath University. “Making friends with people from around the world has been a real highlight at KC. The college’s approach to sport for all really helped me build my confidence.''Olivia achieved an A and 2 Bs and will be heading off to Newcastle University to study English Literature. “KC is so well known for being such an open community. It is easy to fit right in and find your pathway and thrive.”

and celebrate your school’s achievements with us in our ongoing coverage of A level and GCSE results days 2022.

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