Bury Grammar School is going from strength to strength

Bury Grammar School is going from strength to strength

Results up at every level

Bury Grammar School sixth formers are celebrating stellar A Level results today, as they achieve the spectacular feat of surpassing last year’s outstanding results at every level – an achievement all the more remarkable in view of the greater intellectual challenges presented by this year’s linear, tougher A Levels.

Going for gold

More than 70% of grades achieved are in the top A*-B categories, the ‘gold standard’ for A Level, which opens so many doors to highly competitive university courses and rewarding careers. Furthermore, for the second year running, more than a third of grades are at the elite A and A * level in our high performing Sixth Form.

Thirteen pupils excelled in obtaining a string of A/A* grades and, in total, thirty-four pupils have achieved the gold standard of A*-B in all of their subjects, achievements of which they all should be very proud.

Both boys and girls excelling

Boys’ results show a marked improvement compared with last year with a superb 94% of grades at A*-C. Contrary to speculation that these new examinations would disadvantage girls, BGS girls’ results also see a phenomenal increase this year - in particular at the elite end, where nearly four out of ten grades is at A/A*.

In all, thirteen students have at least one A* grade – a standard which is extremely difficult to attain at A Level and the result, not just of an excellent Sixth Form education, but of hard work and a thirst for knowledge throughout students’ schooling.

A 100% pass rate

The overall pass rate for both boys and girls at A-Level is 100% once again.

Clean sweeps of the gold standard A*-B grades in STEM subjects and in facilitating subjects

While the national picture for girls’ achievements in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) might be the topic of some concern, at Bury Grammar School girls have excelled in Physics, Further Maths and Computing this year, with all results at A*-B.

Results in ‘facilitating subjects’ – those subjects highlighted by top universities as representing the best preparation for university in their view – were impressive in other areas as well, notably French and Spanish, which also enjoyed a clean sweep of grades at the gold standard A*-B.

Phenomenal university outcomes

Many sixth formers have achieved higher grades than they could have hoped for and the vast majority of BGS students will be embarking upon their first choice course at the highest performing universities next month, thanks to expert UCAS and Higher Education advice from our outstanding Sixth Form Team. Final outcomes will be confirmed in the next few days and more stories are expected to follow.

Expert options advice

Most of us will be aware that a common mistake and one easily made by 16 year olds is to opt for a combination of subjects at A Level which might not play to their strengths. The Bury Grammar Sixth Form cohort of 2018 who are celebrating today benefitted two years ago from astute and well-informed advice from teaching staff who really do understand their academic strengths and personal aspirations – wise words post GCSE results which ensured they embarked upon the right courses for them at A Level.

Fabulous successes once again in the EPQ

Results in the prestigious Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) - which provides an opportunity for students to extend their abilities beyond the A-Level syllabus, encourages independent thought, allows students to hone their research skills and is exceptionally good preparation for university – are excellent. 90% of girls achieved an A or A* in their EPQ and can look forward to their university studies with confidence.

An all-round education – the best preparation for life beyond school

Bury Grammar sixth formers are in the fortunate position of enjoying superb examination results which will stay with them forever. However, this is by no means no the only thing they take away with them from BGS for the rest of their lives. Alongside phenomenal academic success, among our sixth formers are elite sportsmen and women, super talented musicians, Gold Duke of Edinburgh award students and gifted actors who have stunned us in school productions over the years.

A bright future for the next generation

From September, Bury Grammar School will be offering the EPQ’s ‘younger sibling’, the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) for the very first time to pupils in Years 9 and 10 which will continue to fuel their thirst for scholarship and independent study; we anticipate this will be of enormous benefit to the next generation as they too progress though the school.

There is even better news for sixth formers coming through the School this coming year: from September, all students in Years 12 and 13 will benefit from an additional two and half hours teaching per subject per fortnight which equates to 45 extra teaching hours per subject over the course of an academic year.

The future is bright at BGS and Bury Grammar School pupils really are on the up!


Principal and Headmistress Jo Anderson commented, “We are absolutely thrilled for our students and their teachers with this year’s A Level grades which are the result of much hard work and fantastic team work. Our students have shown great diligence and resilience over the last two years but, most importantly, have also really enjoyed their studies and thrived thanks to outstanding relationships with their teachers. I congratulate them wholeheartedly. 
These new A Level examinations have been a long time in the planning at BGS and I’d also like to offer my sincere thanks our teachers who have expertly guided students thought these new specifications. The Sixth Form Team also merits a special mention as their outstanding pastoral support and UCAS advice really have been second to none. 

Above all, you don’t do well at A level unless you can think for yourself and I know my colleagues all very much enjoy teaching such sparky young people who question ideas and want to be independent learners. 

We must also not forget the role played by parents during our celebrations: support from home and a desire to work closely with staff at school can make all the difference. We recognise that patience and understanding in the family can be vital when living alongside a young person under the pressure of exams - and we do see our role in school as supporting the whole family. There is much talk in the media about the pressure of exams and we have a very important role as school leaders both to aim to alleviate stresses for pupils and teachers and to enable young people to develop the resilience to cope with challenges. All the evidence is from today that Bury Grammar School is on the right track.

This is not just a great day because of today’s achievements but also in terms of the future: while the class of 2018 have done exceptionally well, we know that the planning we have done gives the next generation even greater opportunities as they move into a Sixth Form which offers 2 ½ hours additional teaching per A level subject per fortnight. There is much to celebrate!” 

Headmaster Devin Cassidy, said, “I am absolutely delighted with the results which our students have achieved this year at A Level and I am especially pleased that so many pupils have achieved their first choice University offer.  This is undoubtedly the result of well-informed decision making, expert advice and first-rate teaching which our students receive.  There are also many personal triumphs for so many of our students who have achieved better results than they might have dared to imagine were possible.  We should also remember that exam results are only part of the education that we provide at Bury Grammar School.  That our students leave school as grounded, rounded and intelligent individuals who have the ability to speak to anyone and a desire to go out into the world and make a positive contribution is no accident.  It is the result of a caring school that supports all our students as individuals and offers so much beyond the academic curriculum.  This is a proud day indeed for Bury Grammar School!”

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