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Examination Results


Aylsham High Students Maintain Outstanding Standards at GCSE

Department for Education Performance Tables


In 2015 the DfE introduced the reformed GCSEs (grades 9-1). These qualifications were initially introduced in English and maths with the first certification in 2017. In 2016 the second phase of the introduction of the reformed (new) GCSEs comprised science, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, history, geography and French, along with other subjects. The first certification for these subject qualifications was 2018. These subjects are included within the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) measure recorded in performance tables. 

 In June 2015, the DfE initially stated that legacy (old A-E grades) qualifications in EBacc subjects would count in the 2018 tables. In June 2016, the DfE changed its position and announced that, for Ebacc subjects, only reformed GCSE qualifications would be counted in the 2018 performance tables. The school curriculum structure meant that students had already started to complete the legacy GCSE qualifications within history, geography and French. These legacy qualifications would not be counted in a performance table measure but they would count towards a student’s college or apprenticeship application. This presented the school with a decision; should the school move students from the legacy qualifications that they had already started to the reformed GCSE qualification so that their achievements would be counted in performance tables or should they allow the students to continue their studies in the legacy qualifications minimising disruption to their learning?

The school decided it was in the best interest of its students  to continue their studies within the legacy qualifications. The school recognised that this would affect the 2018 measures reported in the performance table but believed that doing the correct thing by the students was more important.  

Performance table impact

The legacy GCSE qualifications that students have successfully completed are not counted, and therefore not included, in the 2018 performance table measures published by the DfE. This has a particular impact within the Ebacc measures in the performance table as the legacy qualifications that students have achieved within history, geography and French are not included.

 The table below presents two sets of data for the class of 2018. It shows the students’ achievements in terms of the new performance table measures along with the Aylsham High School measures if the changes described above had not been implemented. We believe that this represents a more accurate picture of the outcomes for the students and the school.



DfE 2018 performance table measure for Aylsham High School

Aylsham High School measure performance measure if legacy qualifications included

National data

Progress 8




Attainment 8




% grade 5+ in English and maths




% grade 4+ in English and maths




% entering the English Baccalaureate




English Baccalaureate average point score




% of students staying in education or going into employment after key stage 4

(class of 2016)
























The background data for the class of 2018 shows  the cohort were in line with the national average data at the start of their studies at Aylsham High School. The outcomes for this 2018 cohort show that  students at Aylsham High School have performed significantly higher than students nationally.

 During their studies at Aylsham High School, students have experienced a varied curriculum. 65% of the cohort have completed studies within the English Baccalaureate subjects. The flexibility of the curriculum means that alongside these subjects students have also studied drama, art, design technology, PE and music. The percentage of the cohort completing these subjects is shown in the table below. Nationally the percentage of students completing these subjects continues to decrease. This means students are leaving Aylsham High School with a wide and varied set of qualifications that will support them on their next steps of their educational journey.


% of AHS cohort completing these subjects

Art (fine art, graphics)




DT (Engineering, RM, textiles)






Executive Headteacher Duncan Spalding:

“We are absolutely thrilled once again with the tremendous results achieved by our students and teachers. They have worked so hard and richly deserve their success.  Aylsham High School students are amongst the most consistently high achieving in Norfolk, attaining excellent results year in year out. Their achievements are a cause for great celebration not only in school and at home but also right across the wider Aylsham community.

I am thrilled for each and every one of our students and I wish them the very best for the future as they leave us and go on to fresh and exciting challenges. Not only do they leave us with fabulous results but also hopefully with a love of learning and the confidence that they can hold their own in any situation. It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege working with them over the years.”