Friday, 24 August 2012

Tremendous Effort and Commitment

The highlight of the summer must be the Olympic Games and the performance of team GB; their success; the way they conducted themselves, their humility and capacity to under-play their achievement.  I believe that they serve as outstanding role models and if we can only replicate their success to a small extent, we will have done well.

It is the end of my first year and the start of a new year.  I cannot help reflecting on many of the changes that have taken place at our college – some that are visible and others, behind the scenes.
The undoubted highlight has been the recent student success in the examinations which reflect their tremendous effort and the commitment of the staff.

Our college is an exceptional place to study, to develop intellectually, socially and to progress onto the next stage in our students’ careers.  We have had our best set of results:
·         99.9% pass rate at A2 level with 1082 entries
·         42%of our student achieving A*- B grades at A2
·         37 subjects with a 100% pass rate at A2 level
·         94.7% pass rate at AS level with 38% achieving grades A-B
·         At BTEC 152 students achieved at least one distinction or distinction star
·         On the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), 68% (28/41) of students achieved an A*-A
These are an absolutely superb set of results and as the largest A level provider in Hull and East Riding, I am delighted by them.

At this time of year, most schools and colleges celebrate the success of their students and statistics abound.  Rightly, all of the organisations wish to portray their statistics in a way which shows them in the best light.  However, beware of being ‘duped’.  As Harold Wilson said, “…you have lies, damned lies and statistics,” or as my friend Bobby D said “ …you can fool some people all of the time and all of the people some of the time.  But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

When these statistics are presented, ask yourself about the size of the cohort.  A 100% pass rate for a small number of students (50-60), becomes less impressive when compared to a large cohort like ours.  Furthermore, please look for the percentage of students achieving the top (A*-B) grades, the average points per candidate and the average points per entry.

A number of friends  and external colleagues have asked me why the results have improved and the only thing I can say is that they reflect the hard work of every one at the college, teaching and non-teaching; the focus in lessons; the tremendous support provided for the students; the revision classes at lunchtimes, evenings and during the holidays; the breakfast clubs; the extra-curricular provision; the outstanding facilities but most importantly, having the time to guide and talk to students as young adults and always having the highest expectations of them.  I believe that students rarely let you down.

I cannot help feeling a sense of excitement in anticipation of a new academic year and seeing enthusiastic, vibrant and conscientious students.  This must be what football teams and managers feel in anticipation of a new season.  Alas my beloved Leeds have had a mixed start but will have to strengthen the squad.  At Wyke SFC, we have a full and much stronger squad for 2012 – 2013.

Good Luck for the New Year.