Dubai English Speaking College
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Examination Results

We do not select our students on an academic basis yet we are regularly ranked amongst the best International Schools for our examination results.  Students at DESC get outstanding examination results due to the solid foundation given to them by their teachers throughout their time at the college. At DESC, students sit some GCSEs in Year 10 (Science and English), however, most GCSEs are taken in Year 11. Currently, students in Year 12 take AS examinations at the end of the academic year as the Year 13 students take their A levels. Some students in the Sixth Form are enrolled on BTEC qualifications that have more of a portfolio-based assessment structure.

Our results over the last few years have been exceptional, with over 90% of our Year 11 students consistently attaining five or more GCSE C grades including English and Maths. Although the attainment of our students is remarkable, we are most proud of the extra value that we are able to add to each student. On average, students in Year 11 perform better than expected in each examination that they take by about half a GCSE grade.

A Level Headline Results 2018

Congratulations to students in Year 13 at Dubai English Speaking College for achieving an outstanding set of A level results.  It has been well publicised that A level specifications have increased in difficulty and, like all schools, we have had to wait to see what impact this would have on results.  

A record cohort of 154 students achieved an overall pass rate of 99.8%, our highest to date.  85% achieved a grade A*- C, once again a new record at DESC that demonstrates our commitment to ensuring all students are able to access places on their desired courses at highly acclaimed universities across the world.  61% of students achieved the higher grades of A* – B, of which 36% gained A* or A grades.  Given that DESC is not academically selective, we are incredibly proud of these results. 

As an established provider of Post-16 education, our results have been consistently impressive for a number of years.  With student numbers increasing more this year, we continue to provide an inclusive programme of A level and BTEC courses to suit the needs of all of our students.  This year we had our first cohort of Foundation Year students who have all passed their level 2 and 3 courses, enabling them to now access the next stage of their educational pathway.  

Most impressive is that once again we have demonstrated that we add value when actual outcomes are compared against predictions based on prior attainment data.  At DESC, our commitment is to try and ensure, through excellent teaching and a focus on the development of a mature work ethic, that all students achieve higher grades at the end of the process than had been expected. It is with caution, however, that we make comparisons between actual and expected outcomes at this time of transition in the UK education system, as no data currently exists on prior performance in these new style A level examinations.

Aside from our academic results we ensure students are exposed to a wide range of exceptional experiences within sport, performing arts, scholarship, International Awards (such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award), overseas trips and leadership opportunities. The Extended Project Qualification is available to all Sixth Form students and has proved to be extremely successful in adding further value to our students’ outcomes. Over the last two years, 82% of all EPQ entries have been awarded A* or A grades.

We wish all of our Year 13 students the very best in their futures and thank them for their contribution to DESC.

To view our five year examination statistics, please click HERE.


GCSE Headline Results 2018 

Congratulations once again to last year’s Year 11 students for achieving another fantastic set of examination results in their GCSEs. As you may know, those students took a combination of legacy GCSEs and reformed GCSEs, so it has been much more difficult this year to make any sort of year-on-year comparison or even analyse the results in the same way that we have done previously. Still, we are really proud of the exceptional performances by the students and have one again demonstrated that students at DESC, on average, do better than expected in their GCSEs.

Legacy GCSEs were graded on the old A*- G system, whereas the reformed GCSEs were graded using the new 9-1 system. The UK examination regulator, Ofqual, has ensured that there are similarities between grades and numbers, but only at certain key points. The new grade 7 has been pegged to the old grade A, and the new 4 has been pegged to the old C grade. However, the old B grade encompasses both a part of the new 5 and the new 6 grade. A good way to think about it is that a 5 is like a B/C and a 6 is a high B. It is the expectation that to pass the GCSE you must pass the 4 threshold – this is now referred to as a “standard” pass, whereas a 5 is referred to as a “strong” pass.

We have therefore only been able to compare against UK statistics by using the key indicators of percentage of entries scoring 7-9 plus any A*-A grades from the legacy GCSEs, percentage of entries scoring 4-9 plus any C grades (legacy) or above and percentage of entries scoring 1-9 plus G (legacy) and above.

Also note that the new, reformed GCSEs have much more challenging content, no coursework, more knowledge to recall and an exam model that insists that the entire qualification must be sat in the same season, ie there are no modules that can be taken early. It is for these reasons that year-on-year comparisons cannot be made for this year.

To view our four year GCSE examination statistics, please click HERE.