Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Advertisement Feature - Give Your Child the Right Start

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Advertisement Feature - Give Your Child the Right Start

Article excerpt

Independent schools achieve best results

Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life, especially when it comes to education.

A quick look at the league tables shows that the North East's independent schools are getting the best results and are consistently at the top of the tables.

Although only 7% of the school population are educated at private fee-paying schools, these schools supply one in three of all candidates gaining three A grades, or better, at A-level. The results speak for themselves.

Over 40% of entries from independent schools were awarded an A, compared with 19% of maintained schools. What is more, independent schools provide the best foundation for university entry, and the vast majority ( 92% ( of their 18-year-olds go on to university.

Pupils are doing well at GCSE level too. In 2004, more than half ( 54% ( of the pupils at independent schools scored an A or A*, compared with 13% in the state sector.

The King's School in Tynemouth is a prime example of academic success, as this year parents, pupils and staff celebrated a 99% pass rate at A-level with almost 60% of candidates gaining A or B grades this year.

Nine pupils scored within the top five marks in the country for GCSE English Literature. Among them were Simon Wallace, from Washington, who also scored in the national top five marks for French; and Leonie James who also scored in the national top five marks for Physics.

Westfield, the independent day school for girls in Gosforth, is another good choice. The school secured places for all its leavers at their first or second choice of university with 56% of A-level passes at grades A and B.

The key to this success is small classes. From the nursery to the sixth form, class sizes do not exceed 20 girls and many are considerably smaller.

The school is not, however, a narrow, academic hothouse where everything is sacrificed in the ruthless pursuit of high academic grades. Westfield is totally committed to producing happy, self-confident, well-balanced young women and educating the whole person through a broad and challenging curriculum and an enormous range of extra-curricular activities including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. …

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