Haileybury is delighted to have attained its best ever results in 2008, both at A Level and in the IB. This achievement is a great tribute to the hard work of our pupils, the support of their parents and the dedication of our teachers. It continues and, indeed, strengthens a trend of considerable improvement over the last ten years or so.
Taking the combined A Level and IB score together, Haileybury has recorded an AB rate of 84.6%, compared with last year’s previous best of 78.8%.
82.1% of all A Levels taken were awarded A or B grades. Almost half (49.7%) of all the grades gained were As. The pass rate, for the first time ever, was 100% and, in fact, over 95% of grades were at C or above. The percentage of A and B grades gained has risen by 10 points on last year’s figures, which were the School’s previous best ever results. The size of the increase indicates that Haileybury’s improvement is not the product of grade inflation, but the result of substantial change in our academic culture.
Of our 91 A Level candidates, one gained five A grades, six obtained four A grades and 18 three A Grades. In short, well over a quarter of our candidates achieved three A grades or better at A Level.
The results also indicate the school’s academic strength across the board. Subjects as diverse as Philosophy, History, Mathematics, Art and Chemistry were amongst the highest performers.
The School is fortunate in also being able to offer its pupils the IB Diploma, having been one of the pioneers in the British independent school world of its adoption. This means that we cater for a very wide range of academic strengths and interests. In July we learned that our average IB points score for our 59 strong IB cohort had risen to 35.4 out a possible 45, a new best ever figure. All but one of this group recorded IB scores in UCAS points terms equivalent to or better than three grade As at A Level. Ten of these pupils gained scores of 40+, a very significant academic achievement, and another testament to Haileybury’s academic strength.
Even more importantly, Haileybury’s increasing academic success has allowed the vast majority of our pupils to gain admission to their preferred universities. In the very competitive climate in which admission to the country’s major universities is conducted, this is of vital importance. While no-one in the School would contend that examination results are the be-all and end-all of academic life, it is essential to recognise that pupils have to meet the grade requirements of their chosen courses if they are to proceed to the type of higher education they seek.
Success at A Level is not gained overnight. It is the product of considerable effort and determination over time. In fact, the structure of A Level courses, with their division into AS and A2 sections, ensures that pupils cannot coast during their Sixth Form careers if they want to fulfil their academic ambitions. It is therefore very heartening to report that this year’s AS Level results, with 61.6% of grades at A or B, were the second best in the School’s history, not far short of last year’s peak so far and considerably better than any other previous figure obtained.
Haileybury’s A Level and IB results demonstrate that the School is flourishing as never before. Together with its continuing emphasis on the importance of involvement in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and the strength of its pastoral care, it ensures that Haileyburians are as well prepared as possible for the next stage of their lives after school.
Director of Studies