Rockwood Academy celebrates GCSE Results 2019

Students at Rockwood Academy are today celebrating a marked improvement in their Maths and English combined GCSE results of 56% Grade 9-4.  Part of CORE Education, the academy has performed well under the new, tougher GCSE exams, with an impressive 28 Grade 9 passes across the curriculum.

In English, Maths and triple Science students did particularly well, with 77%, 58% and 100% (including 92% 9-5) respectively achieving Grade 4 and above.

Today’s provisional results show that on average Rockwood Academy pupils are achieving one grade higher than last year, +0.1 in 2019 compared to -0.3 in 2018. EBacc entries are well above last year’s national average (35%) with half of Rockwood students entering the subjects, the school is well on the way to hitting to government’s target.

Rockwood Academy has a key focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) which is clearly having an impact, with pupils performing exceptionally well in these in-demand subjects. Students achieved the highest number of Grades 9 passes in Science – including four girls. A number of girls at Rockwood have also chosen to study STEM subjects post-16, including Sara Abdi Osman, age 16, who secured Grade 9s in triple science and hopes to pursue a career in engineering, after studying her A levels at Handsworth Grammar. Twenty-one girls out of 52 (41%) have applied to STEM courses post-16, nine of those girls have already secured a place at King Edwards, a selective school in Camp Hill.

The Academy has seen some strong improvements over the last year:

  • English 9 – 5: 58%, above last year’s national average (52%) for the third year running
  • Maths 9 – 5: 41%, students on average have improved by one grade this year
  • English and Maths combined 9 – 4: 56%, above last year’s national average (46%)
  • English 9 – 4: 77%, above last year’s national average (52%) for the third year running
  • Maths 9 – 4: 58%, in line with last year’s national average (69%)

2018 saw the introduction of the new exams in virtually all GCSE subjects. A new grading system is in place, with 9 – 1 replacing the old A* – G. Under the new system a Grade 7 equates to an A and a 4 reads across to a C.

The new grade 9 was designed to reward the very brightest and best students across the country. At Rockwood Academy, 15 students secured the top grades, including:

  • Mariyah Shakoor, who achieved six Grade 9s (including in triple science) and hopes to study medicine
  • Sara Abdi Osman, achieved seven Grade 9s (including in triple science) and hopes to study engineering
  • Ikram Khan, achieved four Grade 9s (including in triple science) and also hopes to study medicine
  • Farasha Khalid, achieved five Grade 9s (including 998 in triple science) and hopes to study medicine

This year Rockwood was honoured to become a Beacon School for Holocaust education.  As a Beacon School, Rockwood serves as a dynamic hub coordinating a network of local schools, helping them to develop confidence, proficiency and excellence in Holocaust teaching and learning.

Rockwood’s £14 million school expansion is on track to start in September 2019. The project includes the construction of a new teaching block featuring 14 new classrooms, plus a state-of-the-art library, specialist dance studio, improved science labs and additional music practice rooms. The teaching block will act as the new gateway to the school. There will also be a stunning new atrium with a social space at the centre, to provide a new heart to the school.

Sofia Darr, Headteacher at Rockwood Academy, said:

“I am so proud of our students’ achievements; this year group has been a fabulous cohort of young people. They have worked hard both inside and outside of the classroom. They have certainly made the most of the opportunities offered to them as part of the experience that we offer by delivering a CORE education. A big thank you goes to all members of staff for their unstinting hard work and commitment to support our students in becoming well rounded and resilient individuals. We wish the students all the best when they now embark on the next chapter in their lives.”

Adrian Packer CBE, Chief Executive and Founder of CORE Education said:

“We are hugely proud of Rockwood Academy’s results. At CORE Education, we are uncompromising in our focus on excellence and achieving the highest standards, and we invest heavily in our staff to support this. My huge congratulations to all students and staff at Rockwood – these are wonderful results and richly deserved!”

Schools Minister Lord Agnew said:

“Congratulations to all the pupils and staff at Rockwood Academy, and the wider team at CORE Education, on such an impressive set of results. GCSE results day marks the moment so many young people will make choices that can shape the rest of their lives, so whatever path they choose, every pupil at Rockwood Academy should do so full of confidence.”