Headmaster’s Blog

Open the ECS calendar (the little blue book we send home each term) at a random page.  Let’s say you stumble across the page after the central staples.  That’s week 10.  That’s the week we’ve just had.  Skim through the week (that’s parcourir in French, by the way – I was discussing with a keen parkour enthusiast in Year 5 during Wellbeing Walk Club this week that the French verb for ‘to skim over’ is where the name of his favourite activity comes from.  Not relevant here, perhaps, but interesting nonetheless!).  Count up the music activities.  Now count the sport.  And the Drama.  Now the Trips.  And now the other social and business activities.  It makes for fairly impressive reading, and it certainly paints a convincing picture of ECS as a busy, purposeful and productive place, where extra-curricular endeavours are valued really highly.  In fact, one might be forgiven for wondering whether there is ever any time to get on with life inside the classroom.  Well, given the extraordinary Common Entrance results that we received this week, it is safe to say that the academic life of the School is flourishing every bit as much as the vast array of extra-curricular activities.  I am delighted to talk about this exam success via the rest of this week’s HM’s Blog.

The School has achieved a terrific set of Common Entrance results.  This year’s results represent a staggering improvement in all subjects on even the very fine results of 2017.  We have achieved a far higher number of A*-A grades than in previous years, and across the whole curriculum our A*-B percentage has rocketed.  I am delighted to share with you the table below:

Exeter Cathedral School public exam results 2018 (2017)
Grade awarded: Cumulative % of papers:
A-A* 51% (30%)
B 79% (65%)
C 95% (93%)
D 100% (100%)


What these results mean is that all of our Year 8 leavers were successful in gaining places at the Senior School for which they sat their papers.  This is a terrific achievement, and they should be enormously proud.

Add to these CE results the astonishing Scholarship successes of 2017-18 (the best ever results for the School: 47 Awards, 73% of leavers awarded a Senior School Scholarship/Award), and you will see for yourselves that the academic life of the School is indeed in good heart and good hands.

These results don’t happen by themselves: they are the result of the hard work and determination of our Year 8 pupils, and the skill, dedication and hard work of their teachers.  My congratulations to all of the teaching staff and to the pupils for these very, very fine results. Often underpinning these things is a good deal of gentle support from home: thank you for coming along to our Revision Skills Workshop in the Michaelmas term and to our Exam Skills Seminar in the Trinity term, and for supporting the pupils and the School through the public exam process.

Somehow, then, in amongst the huge number of enrichment and creative activities, extra-curricular goings-on and out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities, we manage to fit in a good deal of hard work inside the classroom.  It’s all about balance: the combination of a packed calendar and the results table above makes me very proud indeed.  Well done to our Year 8s.

James Featherstone

22 June 2018
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