Schools celebrate exam success

PUBLISHED: 12:11 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

TWO secondary schools in the district had plenty to celebrate with the publication of the annual league tables for GCSE and A-level results. Both Loreto College in St Albans and St George's in Harpenden achieved 95 per cent success on the key A* to C grad

TWO secondary schools in the district had plenty to celebrate with the publication of the annual league tables for GCSE and A-level results. Both Loreto College in St Albans and St George's in Harpenden achieved 95 per cent success on the key A* to C grades at GCSE last summer. The schools also achieved well at A-level with the league tables showing that many schools in the district exceeded the county average in both examinations. Norman Hoare, head of St George's, said this week that the results were unprecedented and the school had been congratulated by the Department for Education and Science and the Specialist Schools Trust. He put its success down to his "fantastic staff", many of whom were examiners themselves and knew what was needed to get the best grades. He cited two changes which he felt had had a bearing on the results. One was the introduction of an intensive study leave programme which was more structured than in previous years and the other was a decision taken a couple of years ago to reduce the number of GCSEs the students took to reduce some of the pressure on them. "We believe you shouldn't push children to do 12 to 13 GCSEs," he said The league tables show that St Albans Girls (83 per cent) Beaumont (75 per cent)), Sandringham (68 per cent), Marlborough (67 per cent) and Verulam (65 per cent) in St Albans and Sir John Lawes (84 per cent) and Roundwood (80 per cent) in Harpenden all exceeded the county average of 61.8 per cent success at GCSE grades A* to C. Of the fee-paying schools, St Albans School and St Albans High both achieved 100 per cent success. St Columba's in St Albans 95 per cent and The King's School in Harpenden (68 per cent). At A-level, local schools have also done well with many schools exceeding the county's average points score per examination entry of 78.7. They were St George's with 88.8, St Albans Girls with 87.3, Roundwood with 85.5, Sandringham with 83.5, Beaumont with 83.1, Loreto with 82.8 and Verulam with 79. St Albans High School notched up 104.2, St Albans School 102.2 and St Columba's 81.4.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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