DELIGHTED teachers and students at a Petersfield school were celebrating this week after it was named one of Hampshire's top achievers. Churcher's College was ranked third in the county for its students' performance in A-level exams last summer. And the Ramshill-based college has now cemented its place in a coveted list of the top 200 schools in Britain. The results, from the newly released national league tables, mark an impressive year of high grades across the board for the school. Headmaster Simon Williams praised staff for their hard work over the year, but put the school's success down to the self- motivation of his pupils. Mr Williams told The Herald: "We are always pleased when people tell us we have done well. Everybody likes a pat on the back. "The effort and energy has always remained high, and I would have been disappointed if we hadn't done well. "The tables focus on value-added criteria. The important thing with a child's education is about self-motivation, and what the school does is create a lot of self-esteem. We encourage them to try a little harder each time." The secret ingredient, Mr Williams said, was finding one thing that each student could relate to. "It is not just about what goes on in the classroom. It is sport, art, music, drama, the Combined Cadet Force and a whole range of different clubs. That eclectic range adds up to a very significant level of achievement," he said. The school was ranked 185th in Britain and was only behind high-flyers St Swithun's School and Winchester College in Hampshire for its A-level results. Mr Williams said the results were particularly pleasing as they rewarded progress made throughout the year. He added staff and pupils now needed to keep up the good work in the new academic year. A fresh round of A-levels is already looming and mock examinations have been taking place over the winter period. "Next year is a different group of children. It does not necessarily mean any great change but it is doing more of the same and refining it," said Mr Williams. "But they have their different needs and we need to adapt to them. "We celebrate achievement here. It does not matter how we achieve, because it is done on an equal status. "What we like to do is create a wide range of activities so we can find at least one area in which a pupil can be a star player. It has a knock-on effect on their self esteem." The league table scores were based on an average for each individual student based on the combined A-level and AS-level points score per candidate. Churcher's was judged to have achieved better results than famous establishments such as King's College School in London, The Royal Grammar School in Guildford and Sherborne School for Girls. Mr Williams paid tribute to his teachers for their tireless work throughout the year. He said: "I am absolutely delighted with the staff. We work extremely hard to achieve the most for the children. The staff have enormous regard for the students." Elsewhere, the school performed well in its GCSE results and was ranked 324th in the country. Meanwhile, Bedales school in Steep was placed 12th in Hampshire for its A-level results, with all pupils gaining at least five A to C grades at GCSE. The Petersfield School was ranked 51st, with 67 per cent of its 177 GCSE students attaining five A to C grades.
Churcher's celebrates top three ranking
Friday 20th January 2006 12:00 am