GCSEs at Ballard

Record Breaking Grade 9-7 Results for Ballard’s Class of 2023

24th August 2023

Ballard pupils achieved another record-breaking set of GCSE results, bucking the national trend. Ballard’s pass rate was only 2.7% below that of the most academically selective school locally.


Over all subjects and entrants 40.7% achieved the top grades (9 to 7), a record high and up 4% from last year’s record, almost double the national average.


With a 14.3% increase in the number of Grade 9s achieved, Ballard’s pupils have bucked the national trend for these coveted top grades.

Ballard also saw 94.7% Grades 9-4 across all pupils and subjects (up 6%).


Maths and English Language results were excellent. A 100% pass rate for Maths (higher), Statistics and Further Maths saw many achieve top grades (9-7): 44%, 33% and 40% respectively; plus 80% of Additional Maths examinations (A-S level standard – Level 3) achieved an A grade! Every pupil passed English, with 61% at the highest grades (9-7) and 20% at grade 9, adding, on average a grade and a half to pupils’ results.

100% success in the three Sciences and Maths (higher) and a high proportion of top grades (9-7) in STEM subjects: 80% in Additional Maths, 63% in Chemistry and Physics, 48% in DT, 44% in Maths and 38% in Biology – bucking the national trend.


On average, every pupil gained a grade increase of 0.85, incredible added value (grade levels above pupils ‘indicated’ grades). 


Ballard is incredibly proud of their pupils and the academic excellence they have achieved this year with these fantastic GCSE results.

 “Congratulations must be given to this cohort whose GCSE exams were set to pre-pandemic standards. Our pupils rose to this challenge and were supported by our wonderful teachers, many of whom gave up their free time (including weekends and holidays) alongside daily GCSE Raising Attainment sessions.

Our tailored revision timetable helped pupils’ preparation, so they were calm, confident, and composed before each exam.  This provision enabled them to do their best, pushing our most able pupils further. Our brightest mathematicians were able to take Additional Maths (Level 3) with 80% passing at Grade A.”

Matthew Higgins (Deputy Head Academic)

I am hugely proud of this year group. Whilst they have achieved excellent GCSE grades, real credit must go to all our young people for the positive and resilient way they approached life at Ballard. The all faced real challenges over lockdown, and I believe the manner in which the whole school community approached remote learning paid dividends. On results day, many of our parents were keen to point this out and thank us. They leave us ready for the next stage of their education, and we wish them well.

Of course, whilst we must congratulate the pupils for performing so well, we must not forget to thank their amazing teachers and TAs, our wonderful Pastoral Team and all the support staff who work here to make this such a wonderful, successful and positive community. At Ballard we have a saying – “happy, busy children do well in the classroom”. It is clear from this year’s results that we really do have a school full of happy, busy children.

Andrew McCleave (Headmaster)

As well as tailored support and extension work, this cohort benefitted from Ballard’s academic excellence focus, spearheaded by Headmaster, Mr Andrew McCleave. Initiatives included a literacy and numeracy drive, digital learning and continual individual assessment.

Combined with Ballard’s strength in co-curricular opportunities (on average 120+ clubs each week) and incredible pastoral support, pupils increased their grades, on average by 0.85 this year.


The following subjects gained 100% Grade 9-4:

Art, Biology, Chemistry, Dance, Drama, English Language, Food & Nutrition, French, German, Mathematics – Higher, Music, Physics, Spanish, PE & Statistics.

The following subjects achieved impressive percentages of Grades 9-7

Food Tech – 92%, Dance – 75%, Chemistry – 63%, Physics – 63%, Art – 60%, German – 60%, Geography – 57%, History – 50% , DT – 48%, English Language – 46%, Mathematics Higher – 44%

We also saw some huge Value-Added figures (grade levels above pupils ‘indicated’ grades) including:

Food Technology +3.83, Art +2.20, DT +1.86, Music +1.67, English Language +1.52, French +1.40, Geography +1.2, PE – +1.06, German +1

In DT, two pupils gained perfect marks and one pupil gained 99% in Art.


“The difference between the boy that left his old school to the one we see today is exceptional.” (Parent)

‘‘I am deeply grateful for the lasting positive impact you’ve had on my daughter.” (Parent)