There were early signs that Jewish schools had followed a national trend in falling A-Level results this year, as more students took Religious Studies than at any other time in the last decade.
Yavneh College, which bucked the national trend to celebrate the best results in the school’s history, were among the top performers after 87% of students got A* to B grades, with a quarter of all exams results landing in the highest category.
Headteacher Spencer Lewis praised the “exceptional” results, adding that “for 63% of grades at either A* or A is the most incredible achievement”.
As JFS in Kenton, where just less than 80% got A* to B, headteacher Jonathan Miller said he was delighted that a record 16 students had won places at Oxford or Cambridge this year.
“We pass on our heartiest congratulations to all the students, parents and staff,” said Miller.
At Immanuel College, one of London’s top performers last year, there was a slight drop in 2014 results, which the school blamed on the government.
“It is likely that the national picture will once again reflect the reduction in top grades vigorously advocated by Michael Gove,” said a statement on the school’s website.
“While we have no way of knowing how we compare until the Value Added league tables are published at the end of January, we can take pride in our pupils and staff for achieving A* or A in almost two out of every three subjects.”
In Manchester, Rabbi Ben Rickman, the Head of Jewish Studies at King David High School, took to Twitter to praise 60% of students getting grades A* to B.
Nationally, figures showed that the number of students taking Religious Studies at A-level in England had almost doubled since 2002/03, with more than 20,000 exams taken this year.
“It shows that schools and students value Religious Education as a key subject that provides great preparation for Higher Education,” said Ed Pawson, chairman of the National Association of Teachers of RE.
In agreement was John Keast of the Religious Education Council. “A broad and deep knowledge of different world faiths and beliefs can help young people truly understand the context of events in the Middle East,” he said.