Durrington High School on top form– Worthing schools in the league tables

Durrington  High School Year 11 students with head  teacher Sue Marooney celebrating the school's success''Picture by Malcolm McCluskey W03179H11
Durrington High School Year 11 students with head teacher Sue Marooney celebrating the school's success''Picture by Malcolm McCluskey W03179H11
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DURRINGTON High School has been named as one of the most-improved schools in the country in the new school league tables

The school in The Boulevard saw 60 per cent of students achieving five A* to C grades, including English and maths, in GCSE exams sat last summer, compared with 55 per cent of students in 2009.

This follows seven years of constistant improvement since 2003, in terms of the percentage of students achieving five A* to C GCSEs.

In 2007, just 40 per cent of students achieved the benchmark – meaning the school has achieved a 50 per cent increase in improvement in their GCSE attainment over the past four years.

Head teacher Sue Marooney said: “Committed to excellence with a can-do approach – this is the ethos at Durrington High, which students, staff, governors and parents promote and support.

“A continued focus on English and mathematics is central to our success and we have our strongest-ever staff team to support our students.”

Independent sector

At Our Lady of Sion, in Gratwicke Road, which as an independent school cannot be directly compared to state schools because of the difference in type of examinations sat, 100 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades in any subject.

A total of 97.9 per cent of students gained all A to C grade passes, which places the school in fifth place of all schools in West Sussex.

Head teacher Michael Scullion said: “The school’s league tables are a reflection on all the dedication and hard work that our young people put for their GCSE exams, and on the teaching skills and encouragement of our highly-committed staff.

“We are always very proud of the results achieved by our pupils, and 2010 proved to be an outstanding year.”

Mixed results

Chatsmore Catholic High School, in Goring Street, did not fair so well in the tables, suffering a 15 per cent drop in the number of students achieving five A* to C grades, including English and maths.

Last year, 62 per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades, including English and maths, but this year that figure fell to 47 per cent.

Head teacher Michael Madden said: “We were disappointed at the figure for that particular benchmark.

“Last year, we had an exceptional year group of students. This year’s figures reflect a different profile of students, who nonetheless all worked hard and the value added score shows that. The trouble with this particular benchmark is it doesn’t take into account students who perform well in English or maths independently, rather than in both subjects.”

Baccalaureate

This year, the tables include a new performance measure – the percentage of students achieving the English Baccalaureate, a new certificate introduced by the government.

Under this new benchmark, tables rate schools according to the numbers of students achieving five or more A* to C grades, not only in English and maths, but also in an ancient or modern foreign language, a science and a humanities subject – either history or geography.

In Worthing, students at Davison High School for Girls, in Selborne Road, performed the best in the Baccalaureate, with 28 per cent of students achieving the certificate.