21 December 2018
As we close for the Christmas and New Year break, I wanted to take the opportunity to update you
on recent school matters.
In the last few weeks, the national picture for school performance has been released and has
allowed us to reflect on our summer results in comparison to schools nationally. Our initial delight
at the quality of results achieved at both GCSE and post-16 has been confirmed by this release and
shown that the students of The Blandford School performed in line with the top end of schools in the
At GCSE, our school progress score, which measures the rate of progress made from students’ SAT
scores to GCSE, was significantly above the national average and placed us in the top 27% of schools
in the country, including selective schools. In addition, our attainment score, which identifies the
quality of grades achieved by students, placed us in the top 26% of schools nationally.
Within these figures, we can also see huge successes by different groups of students. Boys bucked
the national trend by closing the progress gap between boys and girls. Highly academic students
achieved a rate of progress that was significantly above progress made by highly academic students
across the country, placing in them in the top 20% in the country, and in the top 10% for the EBacc
subjects collectively and Science. For this group overall, 56 Grade 9s were achieved (the highest
grade) and awarded to the top 3% of students.
English and Maths results were also above the national average, with 66% of students achieving a
Grade 4 in both English and Maths. Overall, 76% of students gained a Grade 4 or above in English
and 72% of students gained a Grade 4 or above in Maths.
At A-level, over a quarter of grades were at A*- A and over half of grades were between A*- B.
Along with 61% of grades achieved between Distinction* and Distinction in vocational qualifications,
this has resulted in a progress score that places The Blandford School fourth amongst sixth forms in
Dorset, including independent schools. In addition, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, PE, RE and
Business Studies achieved a level of progress from GCSE that is in line with the top 25% of schools
We are absolutely thrilled for our ex Year 11 and ex Year 13 students whose hard work really paid
off. Last night, we celebrated with them at our annual Presentation Evening which was a lovely
opportunity to catch up with students who have left us and are at university, as well as celebrate
with our current students. The audience showed their appreciation of students receiving awards as
well as those who ‘entertained’ us in between the presentation of certificates and awards; our
website will shortly have photographs of the evening for parents/carers and students to enjoy. If
you attended the evening and would like a photograph of the award presentation please contact us
and we will do our best to oblige.
I would like to thank parents/carers for your support this term and for the very high percentage of
you who attended recent parents’ evenings, information evenings, our new Year 7 coffee mornings
and meet the tutor evening for Year 7 parents. For information, we have just trialled a crèche to
support those of you who wish to come to parents’ evenings but struggle with childcare, this was
one of the barriers identified in a recent parental survey. Ten parents used the service which was
managed by sixth form students and overseen by my colleagues. We are planning to offer this
support again and will include reference to it in our parents’ evenings letters.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to the new Student Forum who are having a really positive
impact on school culture, a particular thanks must go to senior students led by Alice McNab (Head
Girl) and Ben Knight (Head Boy). I would also like to congratulate Mr Cullen and students engaged in
our new student newspaper ‘The Student Eye’, the first edition looks fabulous.
Term commences on Monday 7th January 2019 and I will update you again in the Spring Term.
Meanwhile, please have a very restful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.