Top marks for students at Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow

PUBLISHED: 16:39 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 07:20 30 May 2010

HELENA Romanes School showed signs of sustained improvement with a very pleasing set of GCSE exam results. Students who had a five or more A*-C pass rate was 69 per cent. Including English and Maths, that 5+ figure was 54 per cent. Individual students

HELENA Romanes School showed signs of "sustained improvement" with a "very pleasing" set of GCSE exam results.

Students who had a five or more A*-C pass rate was 69 per cent. Including English and Maths, that 5+ figure was 54 per cent.

Individual students who did particularly well were: Rhiannon Thompson, from High Roding, with five A* and five A grades; Abigail Tyrell, from Rayne, with one A* and eight A grades; Jennifer Crouchman, from Barnston, with three A*, three A and three B grades; and Sam Rayner, from Little Canfield, with two A*, four A and two B grades.

Headteacher Simon Knight said: "These results are evidence of a sustained improvement across the school, which together with last week's results at A Level demonstrate that we continue to move in the right direction.

"The dedication and hard work of both students and staff, with the support of parents, has culminated in a very pleasing set of examination results.

"The school continues to improve and I am confident of further success in the future."

Amongst this year's results are those for a group of students and their parents who took GCSE Sociology.

The 26 students - 13 children and 13 parents, aged between 11 and 70 - studied together for 16 months, led by Twenty Twenty Learning, an educational consultancy based at the Great Dunmow School. All the students passed with 35 per cent gaining an A* or A grade.

The programme followed on from a successful Gifted and Talented summer school, which focussed on Humanities, in 2007.

Twenty Twenty Learning partner consultant, Helen Parry, said: "The summer school was a huge success and we thought it would be nice to stretch that with the GCSE programme.

"This was a collaborative, generation-spanning, community-based programme which made for a challenging and stimulating environment - with just an edge of competition."

Family 'teams', which made of parents and children, took responsibility for becoming experts in one field of Sociology before passing on their learning to others on the course.

Each student, in addition to sitting a two-and-a-half hour exam, had to submit a piece of coursework consisting of 2500 words. Topics ranged from 'Peer pressure on teenagers in the 21st century' and 'Mobility and migration: town to country'.

Year 10 pupil Jack Swanston took part in the course. He said: "It was enjoyable, interesting and inspirational. I learnt about a subject that I didn't know anything about before and had a lot of fun working alongside my dad.

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