GCSE Case StudiesPosted: 27th August 2019
A raft of improvements at Epping St John’s Church of England School to help students reach their potential have been praised by teenagers.
As Year 11 collected their GCSE results this week, they were keen to praise the school and its programme of changes which have seen Saturday school and study clubs introduced.
For Oliver Warren, he is certain the study clubs and Saturday school are responsible for him achieving four grade 9 and five grade 8 in his exams.
He said: “My results are better than I had expected, although I was predicted to do well. I was relieved and happy to open them; it’s nice to have the weight lifted off my shoulders.
“I have done a lot of revision in my own time after school, but the school and teachers are such a great support network and the effort they put into study clubs and Saturday school helped massively.
“I always thought it was a good idea, but now we have all done well we fully appreciate quite how much it has done for us. They are not just normal teachers; they are friendly and organise revision that’s not stressful and that definitely has improved grades.”
Oliver hopes to continue at Epping St John’s sixth form to study biology, chemistry and maths.
James Cronin attended five study clubs every week to ensure he got the very best grades. The effort paid off and he collected one grade 8, three grade 7, four grade 6 and one grade 5.
He said: “I am over-the-moon with my results. I was not expecting to get grades that high, but I did work really hard. I wanted to get good grades and so I put in the hard work.
“Not many schools offer study clubs like Epping St John’s; our teachers really put in a lot of effort into our year group.”
James is staying on at Epping St John’s sixth form to study maths, computing and physics.
He said: “Knowing the environment and the teachers, I know the effort will be put in to support me.”
A desire to do her very best was facilitated by the extra school support offered to Harper Al-Kubaisi and her peers.
Mum Zoe believes her daughter’s determination coupled with the opportunities to attend study club and Saturday school is what resulted in her collecting one grade 9, two grade 8, three grade 7, one grade 5 and one grade 4.
She said: “She pretty much nailed it! Harper has worked her butt off to get there, so she was excited and overwhelmed to open her results.
“She has achieved these results by being willing to work hard and by preparing herself. It all became real for her at the end of Year 10; she knuckled down and focused on what she needed to do. When she needed extra support, she asked for it.
“I think the school saying ‘we have put these extra sessions on for you all of the time and you can come along whenever suits’ gave them the choice. It was a brilliant support for Harper and for us, as parents. It opened up a whole dialogue about where she was at with it all.
“The school facilitated it by putting so much on. It has been great.”
Harper is staying on at Epping St John’s sixth form to study art, English literature and history.
While attending study clubs and Saturday school was a tough commitment at the time, the results have made it all worthwhile, according to Henry Jones.
With three grade 9, four grade 8, one grade 7 and one grade 6 in the bag, he appreciates the purpose of the extra revision sessions.
He said: “These results are what I was predicted, but I still didn’t see it coming. There was such elation in opening them!
“I have achieved them through hard work, good teaching and staying committed to what I was doing. I went to a lot of revision sessions and Saturday school, as well as working on my own at home. It was great having just ten to 15 people in the extra sessions as it meant more one-to-one teaching; we could ask specific questions rather than sitting through a whole lesson.
“I knew the extra sessions were helping, even if I didn’t always want to go; I knew it was something I had to do and I am very glad I did now.”
He is looking to study maths, chemistry and physics at A-level.