Falkland Island pupils celebrate best-ever GCSEs

5th March 1999 at 00:00
FALKLANDs pupils are celebrating the islands' best-ever GCSE results.

More than three out of five exam entries were awarded a C grade or above, compared with 54.8 per cent in England.

Falklands children study at the islands' 155-pupil community school from age 11 to 16, when their future is decided by their GCSE scores.

At least five C grades are necessary for pupils to qualify for Government funding that enables them to continue their studies in the UK.

Of the 33 students in last year's GCSE cohort, 19 achieved these grades and most will study in Britain, boarding at a Winchester sixth-form college from September.

The remaining 14 will either work on their families' farms, learn a trade as an apprentice or take a job with one of the islands' firms.

The school year begins in mid-January and ends in December for a six-week "summer" break. Exams are taken in November.

Headteacher David Higgins credits small classes for the exam success. Class sizes are never more than 18 and most GCSEs are taught in groups of 10.

He said: "We are a true mixed ability school because we are the only secondary school for every child on the island.

"We are delighted with our overall results, not just those of the higher achievers."

Sarah Cassidy

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