Exam & Key Stage Results

The Downs School is a high performing school, with a consistently strong record of academic success at both GCSE and A Level. We are very proud of the high percentage pass rates achieved by our students, due to the excellence and diligence of our teaching staff, the hard work of our students and the partnership between staff and parents.


2019 marked another year of GCSE and vocational examination success despite the more challenging examination series. A fantastic number of results were at grade 9, with 14% of all examinations taken resulting in grades 8/9 (A* and above) and 25% grade 7 – 9 (A and above). Of the 36% of entries, 29% of students achieved 4+ in the EBACC.

Achievement across vocational courses was also stunning with 9 subjects delivering a total of nearly 22% of entries at grade Distinction*; the highest possible grade, and another 30% of entries at grade Distinction/Distinction*.

In all, 81% of students achieved at least the standard pass 4 – 9 (C to above A*) in English and Mathematics, and some 56% achieved the strong pass 5 – 9 (B to above A*) in both subjects.

Headteacher Chris Prosser commented: “I am delighted and proud of our students’ achievements this year. They have shown much resilience and determination to achieve so well in an examination system which has become so challenging in many respects. Congratulations also to the teachers who have expertly taught and supported them, and as ever, the excellent support given by parents."

“As a school community we feel a huge sense of achievement because we know that our Year 11 students now have the skills and attributes to allow them to achieve success in the next stage of their careers. We are also delighted that the majority will remain with us in our Sixth Form.”

In addition to the overall successes, there were a number of stunning individual student performances, with equal numbers of males and females occupying the top ten positions. Some forty seven grade 9s were achieved by seven students.

There were also some particularly outstanding performances in the following subjects:

  • 18 students gained A*- B results in Extended Project (A/s equivalent) representing 62% of the entries.
  • % of students achieving 4 – 9, (C to above A*) was over 90% in Art, Biology, Chemistry and Physics with over 85% achieving the same in Drama, English Literature, French and German.

A Level

One hundred and 20 Year 13 students sat A Level examinations or BTECs in 2019. The outstanding results reflect the hard work and commitment the students’ have given to their learning.  An impressive 8% of entries gained A* grades, 28% A*-A grades, 56% A*- B grades and 79% A*-C grades.

Headteacher Chris Prosser said: “Our students have produced excellent results and I am really proud of what they have achieved. There are so many wonderful success stories that lie beneath these statistics and the students, staff and parents worked so hard to make it happen - it was a real team effort! My biggest pleasure is knowing that so many of these students will now be able to access their chosen destinations, whether that will be university, apprenticeships or a career.  I wish them all the best on their next adventure.”


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