The King’s School, Harpenden, Results - GCSEs & SATs

GCSEs Results

2019 GCSE Results - 13 Candidates, with previous years' attainment:

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
No. of Candidates 18 19 10 16 13
Grades 9-7 (old A/A*) 24% 28% 25% 51% 36%
Grades 9-4 (old A*-C) 73% 82% 89% 97% 93%

5 or more 9-4 grades incl.English Language & Maths (A*-C)

61% 74% 90% 94% 85%
5 or more 9-4 grades (A*-C) 78% 89% 90% 100% 92%
Attainment 8 (class average) - - - 67.4 59.4

This year’s GCSE cohort worked well and achieved pleasing results, some of which are summarised above. Their results are lower than the 2018 group, but we were expecting this as there was a considerable difference in their underlying ability.

36% of subjects taken were passed at grade 7 or above, which is over a third of all entries in a mixed ability, non-selective class. This is an excellent achievement and well above the national level of 20.7%. At King’s, able pupils are stretched and challenged to achieve the best possible grades. 5% of entries were passed at grade 9 (4.5% nationally) and 15% at grade 8, meaning that a fifth of all entries attained the equivalent of an old A*! Over the first two years of these new GCSEs, we have been very encouraged by the high percentage of grade 9s (22% in 2018, 14% overall), which is more than the grade 8s (13% over the two years), as this shows that our academically strong pupils, who are targeting grade 8/9, are sufficiently pushed and challenged to reach the very top of their potential.

100% of pupils passed English Language (4 or above) compared to 62% of pupils nationally. This is a crucial figure, as it opens more opportunities for our pupils in terms of further education. It is also an outstanding achievement, considering that a number of pupils in this small class, had to overcome the challenge of dyslexia and other related SEN.  

85% passed Maths, compared to 60% nationally. 77% gained a 6 or above in Maths, opening the door to STEM subjects at A Level and beyond.

93% of all entries were passed at 4 or above (old C or above), considered by the government to be a standard pass. The national figure is 67%. This also shows that our mid-range pupils are achieving well and gaining a pass or better in the vast majority of their subjects. 89% of entries achieved a strong pass or better (grade 5 or above).

We do not insist that our pupils opt for ‘EBacc’ subjects, but rather tailor our option system to meet the needs, interests and passions of our pupils. 85% of the class attained a grade 5 or better in either Geography or History or both.  Take up of languages was not high in this group, but the 62% who opted in did well. 88% of the French and German grades were a strong pass (5) or better. Just over half the class opted for separate sciences, with the science grades, across both combined and separate, being excellent. 94% overall pass rate, with 80% pass rate in double science compared to 55% nationally. 59% of the separate science grades were 7-9, compared to 43% nationally.

With small classes we are prone to dramatic fluctuations in attainment statistics and therefore a detailed look at progress is perhaps more helpful in assessing whether the school is helping every pupil achieve their full potential academically. This is our second class who have taken CATs in Year 7 to assess their academic potential. Our classes tend to have average or just above average ability at intake, with the mean class CAT scores ranging from 102-110. The 2018 Y11 cohort were above average on intake (average 110), where as this year’s class (2019) had an average of 106, so just at the top end of the average ability range. However, to illustrate the excellent progress that this class made, 55% of grades exceeded the figure that the CAT tests predicted they would get and 29% exceeded it by 2 or more grades, which is an outstanding achievement and illustrates the outstanding progress made by most of the class. 82% of grades met or exceeded the CAT prediction.

The average APS for this class was 6.0 per grade. The CAT predictors said it would most likely be 5.2. This amounts to 0.8 above on average, which is value added of almost one whole grade on every entry. We cannot access the Progress 8 measure. However, it is based on Attainment 8, which is then compared to a predicted outcome based on KS2 results from Year 6. We have calculated the Attainment 8 scores but don’t have access to our pupil’s predicted outcomes. For this class the average attainment 8 score was 59.4. Our score is well above the national and Herts average.

As we have such small class sizes, there is a limit to how many sub-groups we can split our cohort into when looking at whether attainment and progress is consistent. For the statistics below I have looked at the last two years together to try and get a more significant analysis. This still only involves 29 pupils, so sub-groups are small. The main significant group is gender, the last two years having 14 boys and 15 girls. Attainment was also similar, with an average attainment 8 score of 63 for boys compared to 64 for girls. However, when you look at underlying ability, the boys have stronger CAT average and therefore should slightly out-perform the girls. This is highlighted by looking at the average value added per grade, which for boys was 0.7 and for girls 1.1. Whilst this shows no significant difference between the genders in terms of progress, with both groups progressing well, it does indicate that the boys are not as consistent as the girls. Both year groups had one or two male pupils who under-performed due to lack of effort and focus. This is an area we are aware of and we are now trialling intervention groups in key stage 3 to try and lessen the chance of boys under-performing due to lacking focus.

Being such a small school, we do not analyse much data on ethnicity, the groupings are too small as we have such a diverse intake. A simple analysis dividing the last two cohorts into white and BAME groupings reveals little difference in attainment or progress. The white group had a slightly lower ability on intake and scored an attainment 8 average of 61, compared to the BAME group’s 67. When you look at value added, the white pupils averaged 1.0 per grade and the BAME group 0.7, not a statistically significant difference.

Pupils on our SEN register (11 out of 29 over 2018 & 2019 – 38%) had an average value added of 1.1 per grade, even better than the whole class average for the two groups of 0.9, showing that they are very well supported and encouraged to aim high and persevere through their challenges.

Our six high achievers, with an attainment 8 score >80, also made excellent progress, with an average value added per grade of 1.9, showing that our brightest pupils are extended to achieve the best possible grades.

Value added per grade is also consistent across different subjects. All subjects had a positive value added score in 2019, with some variation due to the very small option groups that we end up with for GCSE.

It is also important for us to look at progress across the secondary school. Our GCSE teachers are preparing students well and our revision focus towards the end of Year 11 is also proven to be successful. However, is this just a final push at the end or are pupils making steady progress towards their goals?

Our Key Stage 3 attainment data shows that, in general, pupils are staying on track throughout the three years.  The average grade change across the three years for the last 4 classes to have completed KS3 (66 pupils) is -0.1. We grade on a 1-5 scale. If pupils manage to maintain their grade level, despite the work getting much more challenging as KS3 progresses, they are making at least expected progress, sometimes more. We have a target based on a mix of their most likely CAT grade and their tough CAT target. The average of these target grades is 2.4, with the average report grade across Y7-9 being 2.5. Therefore, pupils are within 0.1 of their tough targets when averaged across their grades. This leads to them having a strong foundation to build on at GCSE and ultimately achieve beyond the most likely grade come results day, as shown in the Y11 data above.

Andy Reeves (Head of Secondary)


KS2 SATs Results



Achieving expected standard

% achieving expected standard National % achieving expected standard Scaled scores average (100=expected standard) National scaled scores average
Reading 13/15 87% 73% 108 104
Grammar, punctuation & spelling 14/15 93% 78% 108 106
Maths 12/15 80% 79% 103 105
Writing (teacher assessed) 13/15 87% 78% N/A N/A
Science (teacher assessed 14/15 93% Not available N/A N/A
Reading, Maths & Writing combined 11/15 73% 65% N/A N/A

Teacher Assessment

This subject was Teacher Assessed. Pupils were required to achieve the standard in every section of the criteria to meet the expected standard.
13 pupils were working at the expected standard.
2 pupils were working towards the expected standard.
0 pupils were working at greater depth within the standard, across all the criteria, although the moderator identified that one pupil was very close to the threshold.

This subject was Teacher Assessed. There were two categories: working at the expected standard or has not met the expected standard.
14 pupils were working at the expected standard. 1 pupil has not met the expected standard.

Special Needs
2 children in this class have IEPs in place and 3 children have received regular extra English and/or Maths support.




READING - 10 pupils reached expected standard (83% compared to National average of 75%)

GRAMMER, PUNCTUATION & SPELLING - 11 pupils reached expected standard (92% compared to National average of 78%)

MATHS - 10 pupils reached expected standard (83% compared to National average of 76%)

WRITING (Teacher assessed) - 9 pupils reached expected standard (75% compared to National average of 78%)

SCIENCE (Teacher assessed) - 10 pupils reached expected standard (83% compared to National averge of 82%)

READING, MATHS & WRITING COMBINED - 8 pupils reached expected standard (66% compared to National average of 64%)


READING - 14 pupils reached expected standard (88% compared to National average of 71%)

GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION & SPELLING - 14 pupils reached expected standard (88% compared to National average of 77%)

MATHS - 11 pupils reached expected standard (69% compared to National average of 75%)

ALL THREE SUBJECTS COMBINED - 8 pupils reached expected standard (50% compared to National average of 76%)

WRITING (Teacher assessment only) - 8 pupils reached expected standard (50% compared to National average of 76%)

NB: A high percentage of pupils in this class (7 out of 16 pupils) have received regular extra SEN support which has enabled them to improve their achievement throughout the year, with regard to Maths and Writing.


READING - 17 pupils reached expected standard (81% compared to National average of 66%)

GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION & SPELLING - 18 pupils reached expected standard (86% compared to National average of 72%)

MATHS - 17 pupils reached expected standard (81% compared to National average of 70%)

ALL THREE SUBJECTS COMBINED - 14 pupils reached expected standard (66% compared to National average of 53%)

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Number of Candidates 21 10 16 12 17
English Reading Level 3 - - 0% 0% 6%
English Reading Level 4 - - 31% 16% 24%
English Reading Level 5 - - 69% 84% 71%
English Reading Level 6 - - - - 0%
English Gram, Punct, Spell Level 3 0% 0% 13% 0% 18%
English Gram, Punct, Spell Level 4 43% 60% 31% 34% 18%
English Gram, Punct, Spell Level 5 57% 40% 43% 50% 59%
English Gram, Punct, Spell Level 6 - - 13% 16% 6%
English number of candidates disapplied - - - - -
Maths Level 3 9% 0% 12% 8% 6%
Maths Level 4 33% 60% 43% 34% 53%
Maths Level 5 57% 40% 31% 34% 35%
Maths Level 6 - - 7% 24% 6%
Maths number of candidates disapplied - - 1(7%) - -