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We are in top 0.5% of UK schools!

Beaconsfield High School is thrilled to announce that it now ranks within the top 0.5% of all secondary state schools in the UK for its Progress 8 score, taking 18th position and also becoming the top school in the county, after another remarkable year of results!

The 2017-18 Progress 8 scores were published this week (Tuesday 16th October 2018), with 3,657 schools publishing their figures. Progress 8, which was introduced in 2016, aims to capture the progress that pupils make from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. It was designed to encourage schools to offer a broad and balanced curriculum at KS4 (GCSE), and rewards schools for the teaching of all their pupils.

Under the helm of Headteacher Rachel Smith, and with a transformative senior leadership team, the school has jumped from 130th position to 18th in just one year, and Rachel Smith puts this down to exceptional staff.

“My team is absolutely outstanding; an amazing collective of highly capable and inspirational teachers, coupled with thorough and diligent support staff, who subscribed to my vision and the ethos we have instilled since I took the Headship in 2015.  

“We have spent the last three years focusing on teaching and learning, which meant we needed to snap up remarkable talent to compliment those staff who were on board with the step change introduced when I joined. As a team, we bring the outside world and its expectations into a grammar school, using new data streams to focus on progress and laser sharp CPD directly focused on what makes a difference.”

Under the watchful eye of Deputy Head Tina Hill, the school has experienced an overhaul in its approach to pedagogy, with high levels of challenge underpinned by a robust new version of quality assurance. There are no lesson gradings for teachers, but feedback and support is provided if they are not reaching the required – and unsurprisingly high – standards. Tina’s positive, determined and supportive approach to people management has helped galvanise staff attitudes towards the revolutionary change.

Robust and impactful performance management has been key in driving the school’s success forward. There is a strong vision on making things work for the individual, coupled with a close focus on line management for subject areas. Heads of Faculty are empowered to hold staff to account if necessary, using performance management to focus on what needs to be done, with very detailed intervention plans deployed on specific subject areas. 

Teachers, however experienced, have changed their approach to ensure they understand the students’ feelings about learning, that they follow up and, most importantly, that they tell students they can.

Rachel Smith continues: “Since I developed my strategy to push our school into the realm of remarkable three years ago, my focus has been to propagate the expectation that even the brightest students need the right teaching and challenges in order to excel. Ultimately, I needed the right people, processes and systems in place to move an outstanding school on to an exceptional one.

“I am so proud of the continuing effort and passion shown by our staff and students. Everyone is committed to creating our happy, high-achieving environment.”  

In the last year, Beaconsfield High School has celebrated a number of momentous achievements, including being recognised as an Exceptional School by the Best Practice Network (the equivalent of receiving two consecutive Outstanding evaluations by Ofsted) and achieving Governor Mark, an exclusive recognition of a governing body’s best practice and exceptional standards. As well as some of the best GCSE and A-Level results in the county, the school also celebrated one Year 13 student achieving the top global score in her A-Level Physical Geography exam. 


Progress 8 is based on students’ progress measured across eight subjects: English; mathematics; three other English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects (sciences, computer science, geography, history and languages); and three further subjects, which can be from the range of EBacc subjects, or can be any other approved, high-value arts, academic, or vocational qualification.

Beaconsfield High School has been a leading Buckinghamshire grammar school for girls for more than 50 years, with more than 1,000 students studying at Key Stage 3, GCSE and A-Level. It boasts one of the best sixth forms in the county, with exceptional teaching talent, a broad and engaging curriculum, inspiring and unique extra-curricular options and a practical approach to preparing for the worlds of further education and work - in the form of its Getting Life Ready programme, which arms students with the skills and know-how to survive and thrive in the real world.