A Level Results 2020 – City of London Freemen’s School

17 Mar 2021

Freemen’s A Level students celebrate record-breaking success despite this year’s challenges.

  • 94% of grades achieved were A* – B grades
  • 79% of grades achieved were A* – A grades
  • 44% of all grades achieved were A* grades
  • 100% of grades achieved were A* – C grades

Students at City of London Freemen’s School in Ashtead are celebrating record-breaking A Level results this year, despite the chaotic circumstances surrounding grade allocation. 94% of all grades achieved were A*- B and the percentage of A* grades awarded (44%) is the highest that the School has achieved. Such continued excellence is reassuring, given A Level students in the UK face a particularly challenging environment at the moment.

Freemen’s is continuing to improve despite having historically outstanding results – this reflects the significant investment in teaching and learning over recent years, the expertise of the staff and the incremental approach that see’s Freemen’s’ students peak as they reach the end of the Sixth Form.

“I extend my congratulations all A Level students on their resilience throughout this challenging time,” said Roland Martin, Headmaster, City of London Freemen’s School. “Not only have our students missed out on their final weeks of their careers at Freemen’s, they have also been unable to enjoy so many of their final events. They have demonstrated huge courage and determination in the face of the cancellation of their external examinations, having taken full advantage of the university bridging courses devised by our teaching staff, and I am immensely proud of each and every success.” 

“The circumstances around grading this year have been incredibly challenging for schools. Colleagues here and across the country have put hours of work into providing accurate predictions and rank orders only for them to be ignored. At Freemen’s, 42% of the grades awarded were lower than the Centre Assessed Grades which we took pains to provide through rigorous and accountable process. The hurried, eleventh-hour suggestion that mock grades could be taken as an alternative is further evidence that there is a disconnect between Government ministers and school operations. How non-standardised assessments can be a better alternative than the judgement of professionals who have been working with pupils during their studies is highly questionable.” 

“I should like to thank my colleagues – Mr Bridges, Heads of Department, subject teachers, our examinations officer, Mrs Williams – who have worked so hard to ensure that students were supported during this period, not least in the predicted results that were submitted. Our processes were rigorous and onerous as we were determined to have a narrative that could prove what we felt this cohort deserved.” 

University bridging courses, devised by Freemen’s teaching staff, were undertaken by A Level students following lock-down, allowing them to use the time productively to further their skills and studies and providing them with a solid start to university life. In light of the cancellation of formal examinations, the School supported students moving on to study undergraduate courses, during the period of remote learning. Freemen’s responded to research which has shown that students are more likely to flourish if they have both an understanding of what is to be expected of them and prior experience of work that is geared towards the demands of study for undergraduate courses.

Paul Bridges, Deputy Head Academic, commented, “I hope that we have prepared our leavers for bright and successful futures, despite the period of remote learning, and we wish them every success.” 

Freemen’s is incredibly proud of the students have who have received offers for places on a huge range of courses at a number of highly competitive universities, so-called ‘higher tariff providers’. Freemen’s students have enjoyed considerable Oxbridge success this year, with five students holding offers from Oxford for PPE, Classics, Materials Science, Engineering Science and Psychology, whilst four students hold offers from Cambridge for Medicine, Engineering, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, so it is vitally important that our students are as well-prepared as possible for these demanding undergraduate courses. In addition, PSHE sessions were delivered on topics related to the transition from school to university.

Philip Woodhouse, Chairman of the Board of Governors of City of London Freemen’s School, commented, “In any normal year, an enormous amount of effort goes into preparing for these examinations, let alone given the challenges our students have faced during this very trying period. The provision of bridging courses for students in such a short time frame has no doubt assisted our talented Sixth Form students with an accelerated start to their university life. I remain in awe of both students and staff for the tremendous efforts they have demonstrated in such challenging circumstances.”

With reference to the exciting new provision for future Sixth Form students, said Mr Woodhouse, “The visionary Sixth Form facility, which is nearing completion in the Main House here at Freemen’s, will ensure that future students in the Sixth Form will continue to enjoy the best education possible.” 

A multi-million pound investment programme is underway at the School with the refurbishment of the Main House at the heart of Ashtead Park into a new Sixth Form Centre featuring dedicated learning and social spaces.