Latest newsletter from the Head

Welcome back to school for the Michaelmas term 2016, and the new academic year. I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing summer break, and that the first few days back have been enjoyable.

It’s always a tremendous pleasure to welcome new pupils to Year 7, Year 9 and the Lower Sixth; over a fifth of the students in the school are new. I hope they will settle in well, and be very happy at Sevenoaks.

IB and Year 11 success

Our students achieved another set of outstanding examination results this year, our best ever overall set of results. We know that a good education is not really measureable, but we are nonetheless proud of our students’ achievements.

Our IB results were exceptionally strong again this year. We have one of the world’s largest IB Diploma cohorts, and are delighted that the average score was 39.8 – nearly ten points above the world average. Over 50% of Higher Level and Standard Level examinations were graded 7 – the highest rating achievable – and 120 students, nearly 60% of the cohort, scored 40 points or more.

We are equally proud of our students’ achievement in Year 11: 92% of the examinations taken by the 151 candidates were awarded A* or A grades, and 73% of all examinations were awarded A*. Over a third of the year group (59 students) gained ten A*s or more each, and 128 students gained nine or more A* or A grades.

All students took three individual IGCSE sciences, Mathematics and English Language.

We were particularly delighted by the success in our own externally moderated Sevenoaks School Certificate in English Literature, now in its sixth year, and by the results in the second awarding year of Art, Drama, Music, Technology (Robotics) and Technology (Visual Communications). Well done to all!

These excellent examination results reflect well the spirit of academic enquiry fostered at Sevenoaks. We continue to believe in a broad education, built on intellectual enquiry, on creativity, and on service to the community.

Higher Education

Even more important, we celebrate success in our Higher Education offers with over 200 Sevenoaks students taking up university places this year. Our top UK destinations this year are Durham, UCL, Cambridge, Imperial College, Oxford and Exeter.

This year we had a record number of students receiving offers from international universities; 17% of Sevenoaks students are going on to study in the US, Canada, Europe or other international universities, including Yale, Harvard, Chicago, NYU, Columbia, Duke, UPenn, McGill, Georgetown, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Science and Technology and Sixth Form Centre

As you may well have seen, construction work for the new Science and Technology and IB Global Study centre has begun. These buildings will provide an exceptional environment, bringing together all four sciences. They will enable even greater interdisciplinary study in a beautiful and inspiring space. The Sixth Form centre will provide a base for our IB students to study and socialise, and space for the Institute of Higher Education and Professional Insight. Completion is planned by summer 2018.

Launch of the new Institutes

This year we have launched three new Institutes, designed to support our educational principles and connect our students to the world beyond school.

The Institute for Teaching and Learning supports the continuing development of our curriculum, and is a laboratory for teaching. We aim to ensure our curriculum remains creative, forwardthinking and global.

The Institute of Service and Entrepreneurship has been established to continue our distinguished tradition of service education, and to equip our students with the skills to become inventive and responsible entrepreneurs.

The Institute for Higher Education and Professional Insight offers wide-ranging support for our students as they make choices in HE and careers beyond Sevenoaks. We will continue to use our network of alumni and parents to open up opportunities for our students. Thank you for your support in this vital area.

So, let me wish you and your children an enjoyable and productive Michaelmas term, and a successful academic year 2016-17 at Sevenoaks.

Katy Ricks