New Data Shines Light on Outstanding Teaching at Rydal Penrhos
April 11, 2023

Rydal Penrhos is delighted to announce that, by all metrics, its pupils continue to flourish academically, with standards across the school rising over time.

Rydal Penrhos prides itself on its academic excellence. However, unlike some schools, we are not an academically selective school. Rather than inheriting great GCSE and A-Level results by virtue of admitting only the brightest pupils, we take on the broader task of improving the academic performance of all children and young people that enter our school, regardless of their innate ability.

Thanks to incredible teaching and a safe, supportive environment, Rydal Penrhos has helped children and young people maximise their performance and realise their potential. This is something we know not just from empirical evidence and testimony, but from the advanced statics and metrics the school uses to measure its own performance.

A key part of the school’s data gathering process is its use of GL Assessment’s Cognitive Ability Test (CAT 4) assessments. All pupils aged eleven and above take this assessment upon joining the school, which helps prospective pupils, teachers, and parents understand which areas the child is strong in and which areas they might need to improve upon.

The assessments can also help inform teachers as to which styles of learning a child will most benefit from as they approach their studies. This can be truly invaluable information and, as such, we share a full report based on the results of the assessment with parents.

CAT results can be used to produce an expected ‘flightpath’ to GCSE, which can then measure, when compared to actual GCSE results, how much better a child has performed at Rydal Penrhos compared to the average school. This is what is known as Value Added.

The Value Added score at GCSE and A-Level is currently 0.4, which means that four out of ten GCSE or A-Level entries result in pupils achieving a grade higher than they would expect elsewhere.

This improvement in results is particularly important, given the immense benefits better results can have in terms of university and job applications. University admissions departments and potential employers will take into account a candidate’s academic achievements, and higher grades can give a candidate an edge over their competition.

Rydal Penrhos’ consistently high CAT results over several years demonstrate the high performance culture that the school has cultivated and maintained. A-Level Value Added has been positive in four of the last five years, and GCSE Value Added has been positive throughout the same period.

Excellent academic provision is a feature of the entire school, not just the exam year groups. This was recently illustrated by the CAT results attained by September’s Year 7 class; i.e. our current Year 6 and those pupils from other schools who will join our existing cohort for the start of the next academic year.

Happily, Rydal Penrhos can report that the average CAT score for 2023/24’s Year 7 is anticipated to be the highest on record.

This improvement in the overall academic standard across the year group is the result of a highly successful all around educational provision at Rydal Penrhos’ Prep and Pre-School.

These leading educational environments provide an incredible foundation of knowledge and learning skills that our pupils then take forward when they move onto the Senior site, setting them on the right path towards success.

With this increase in the average CAT score year-on-year, we feel confident that pupils, parents and staff can look forward to increasingly excellent GCSE and A-Level results over the coming years.

We would like to congratulate pupils on this feat, which is a testament to their enthusiasm and dedication to learning. Furthermore, a huge thanks to our parents and teachers, who demonstrate constant support and cooperation in the task of educating our children and young people.