GCSE / A Level Exam Results

Polam Hall is a school which puts a great emphasis on producing well-rounded, successful and happy young adults, as well as having an excellent record of high-achieving professional alumni.

Pupils flourish at Polam whether they are academically minded, or whether their strengths lie in sports, creativity, performance or design – all talents are valued.

Polam is very proud of its excellent examination results. For a small non-selective school, which welcomes international students and those with special educational needs, these consistent successes at A-level and GCSE are all the more impressive.

GCSE and A Level Results for 2016

The A level class of 2016 were our last cohort from the independent Polam Hall, and our expectations were modest as they were a very mixed year group, stronger on personality and extra-curricular achievements than purely academic. Imagine our delight then when on results day the UCAS picture unfolded and out of the 14 pupils, the 13 aiming for university places in the UK all got places. Some 11 were first or second choice places and 2 were gained through clearing.

Our high flyer of the year was Nathan Alcock who gained his place to read Astrophysics at Manchester, following in the footsteps of Professor Brian Cox. Charlotte Crowther and Richard Hart so impressed at interviews that they went into their final exams with unconditional offers up their sleeves and they go forward to read Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham and Automotive Design at Coventry respectively. Richard was our only EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) entrant this year and he did his project on the sustainability of electric cars and gained an A* – watch out for his name in the future if you like your cars!

Our Y11 pupils were also our last cohort of the independent Polam Hall and their results were very good indeed with 78.1% achieving A*-C grades compared to this year’s national figure of 66.9% (77.6% excluding non EEA students). The stars of the year were undoubtedly the girls as their A*-C pass rate was 90.7% (90.1% excluding non EEA students), compared to the national figure of 71.3%. Individual star of the group was Amy Sergeant who gained 10 A*-A and a B. Some 52.2% of the cohort gained 5A*-C including maths and English, but if you exclude the non EEA students it was 63.2%. The EBacc was gained by 52.6% of the year, excluding the non EEA students.

A Level

Pass rate (A-E)

82.6% (80.6%)


Grade s A* – B

19.4% (23.9%)


Grades A* – A

10.9% (11.1%)

AS Level

Pass rate (A-E)

69.8% (65.2%)


Grades A* – B

22.6% (19.6%)


Pass rate (A-C)

78.1% (77.6%)


Grades A* – B

55.4% (57.8%)


Grades A* – A

21.9% (22.4%)

(Figures above show whole year group with EEA pupils only in brackets.)


Where our 2016 GCSE results sit regionally and nationally

The figures below relate to a cohort of 19, out of which 7 are in the Progress 8 score.


Polam Hall School

Darlington Schools


Progress 8




Attainment 8




% pupils achieving C or above in Maths and English




% pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate




% entered for more than one language




% entered for three single sciences





More information on our KS5 Results (A Level) for 2016

Please note the following data is provisional until confirmed by DfE March 2017.

The number of students entered for A Level in 2016 was 15 and the number of students included in AAB measure was 13. From this cohort, 8% of students achieved 3 A Levels at AAB or higher including 2 facilitating subjects.

Further statistics are:

  • Level 3 Value Added ( A Level) was -0.56,
  • % of students achieving 3+ A*-E was 85.7%
  • Average point score per A level entry (under new points system) was 26.41
  • Average grade per A level entry was D+
  • Average grade per A Level entry (Best three) was C-
  • Destinations: 100% went on to either university and an arts college 



Exam Results 2015

Polam Hall’s 2015 Upper Sixth students enjoyed very good examination results achieving an overall pass rate of 96.8%, with 51.6% of the grades being A*-B. Out of the small cohort of only 10 students, six gained first or second choice university places, with two sourcing places through clearing and two more taking gap years. High flyers included Head Student Chelsea Morrison who went on to Newcastle University to read Mechanical Engineering; Deputy Head Student Richard McNamara who took up his offer of a place at Lancaster to read History; Head Boarder Livia Karoui who went to Manchester to read anthropology, and Lizzie Woods who headed for King’s College London to read religion, politics and society.

As for our GCSE results, our 2015 Year 11s achieved the best results we have had since 2012, with 85.1% of the grades at A*-C, which compared fantastically well with the national figure of 69%. At the top end of the ability range our pupils gained 14.3% A* compared to 6% nationally. Some 67% of the pupils achieved 5 GCSEs at A* to C including Maths and English, whilst 52% of the pupils achieved the EBacc measure, for which they have to gain Cs or above in a range of subjects, including Maths, English, two sciences, one humanity and one modern foreign language.

In GCSE English language our students achieved 77.7% A*-C compared to 65.4% nationally, and in Maths 90.5% compared to 63.3% nationally. Year 11 high flyers included Kate Metcalfe who gained 10A*-A grades; Charlotte Allison who got 9, and Sophie Bradley and Ellie Dalby who both gained 8.


2015 exam results in summary

A Level

Pass rate (A-E)



Grade s A* – B



Grades A* – A


AS Level

Pass rate (A-E)



Grades A* – B



Pass rate (A-E)



Grades A* – B



Grades A* – A



Exam Results 2014

The 2014 Sixth Form cohort maintained the Polam Hall tradition of excellent A Level results and university success. Some 25% of grades were at A*-A, 47.2% at A*-B and the overall pass rate was 94.4%. Head Student Aishu Avula and Deputy Head Student Beth Robinson both gained places to read medicine, at Liverpool and Bristol respectively. Not to be outdone, Polam’s first ever male Head Student, Fred Bowron, won a place at York to read History.

Cathy So from Hong Kong was delighted with her results and gained AAA in Biology, Chemistry and Maths, and a B in Chinese. A tremendous achievement for someone working in her second language and who is also dyslexic. Cathy was in the fortunate position of exceeding her UCAS offer but decided in the end to go to university in Hong Kong.

Another of our Hong Kong students, Yan Leung, was one of our top performers, gaining A*A*AB and she won a place at UCL to read Pharmacy.

Polam Hall Year 11 students also achieved outstanding results in their GCSE exams, 80.5% of which were graded at A*-C, with 26.4% at A*-A and 52% at A*-B.

Students were delighted with their results, particularly Charlotte Fletcher who had already sat GCSEs in French, Maths and Science a year early, gaining A*s in all three subjects. In addition to her 10 A* Charlotte also achieved an A grade in AS Level Statistics, a Year 12 course. Another student who had cause to celebrate was Nathan Alcock, who stayed on at Polam Hall who joined the Sixth Form at Polam having achieved 10 A*-A and one B in his GCSEs.

In 2014 Polam Hall entered its pupils for IGCSE English which is not recognised in the DfE’s performance tables. This International GCSE, can be taken by international and independent schools across the world. In contrast to traditional exams, students who study the IGCSE sit one major exam at the end of each course instead of ongoing continuous assessments. In 2014 our students gained 33.3% A*-A in English Language and 83.3% A*-C. In English Literature they fared even better, gaining 50% A*-A and 91.7% A*-C.