Battle Abbey students defy lockdown and illness to secure record-breaking exam results

Battle Abbey School is celebrating another set of record-breaking IGCSE maths results, in spite of the challenges posed by lockdown and Covid.

The exams took place in January, with students said to be pleased to have a chance to take an exam when so many have been cancelled for 2021. 

Craig Austen-White, director of studies at Battle Abbey School, said: “45% of students achieved a Grade 8 or 9 (A* and A** on the old marking system).

“When you consider that the Grade 9 was designed to be achieved by just 2% of students nationally and that 25% of students achieved a Grade 9 at Battle Abbey this year, it is really quite staggering. It is equally pleasing that students for whom maths is something of a struggle, also achieved well with 90% of students achieving a good pass (5-9) and 96% of students achieving a pass (4-9).

“Of course, this year the numbers do not paint the whole picture. Behind those numbers are stories of personal challenges. Students dealing with lockdown, remote learning, family

pressures and illness due to the pandemic. Year 11 put in the work, the revision and had to cope with a paper, that was by our Head of Maths own admission, one of the hardest he has seen for IGCSE maths. They came through it and have a GCSE that is richly deserved and should be a source of immense pride.’

David Clark, headmaster, said: “I am delighted by these quite stunning results. Thanks should of course go to head of maths, Mr Lawrence Smallman, and his team who worked tirelessly, in difficult circumstances, to get the students through the exams.

“Catch-up lessons were organised every Saturday last term and all the teachers went above and beyond the call of duty to support their students.

“A special mention is also due to Mr Jo Carthew who is in his first year of teaching with us.

“Joining one of best maths departments in the country would be intimidating in normal times, so I am delighted the results of his top set are so magnificent. The stunning achievements of the maths department have always been a team effort and never more so than this year.

“I would finally like to pay tribute to another group of people who have contributed to these results - the parents of Year 11. Home-schooling is something of an unwanted novelty but their support and sacrifices have made all the difference and have helped to deliver these extraordinary results.”