School sees 10% leap in GCSE results year after head’s ban on pupils talking

A headteacher has claimed her school’s impressive GCSE results rise is down to a strict rule of silence in corridors.

The Albany School in Hornchurch, Essex has seen this year’s GCSE results shoot up by an impressive 10 percent in just a year.

Headteacher Val Masson, who introduced the behaviour policy to improve grades, has dismissed claims the policy is "old-fashioned" and plans to introduce even stricter rules in the future.

Under the scheme pupils are banned from talking to each other walking between lessons and three times a day in the playground when lining-up before classes.

Ms Masson said the new rules have transformed the classrooms and led to a spike in results, particular in core subjects such as English and Science.

She now plans to bring in stricter behaviour policies by introducing four weekly compulsory silent revision sessions.

She said: “These fantastic results showcase the impact this new behaviour policy has already started to have on our students in a very short space of time.

“We have some way to go but with our new compulsory silent revision sessions for Year 11s being introduced next year, we expect results to get even better.

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“These teaching methods have been called old fashioned but I would describe it as pure common sense.

“Students deserve the right to learn in a calm, quiet and academic atmosphere.

"Education is crucially important to the life chances of young people. We have to get it right for them.

“These results show that we are on the right track and are giving students the chance to fulfil their potential.”

Ms Masson, who took up her role in April 2017, said results for Ebacc subjects – core subjects including English, Maths and Science – went up by 10 per cent thanks to the "academic atmosphere" created by the rules.

She added Progress 8 scores – a Government measure of a pupil’s progress between the start of secondary school until GCSE results – had also improved.

And that the number of pupils in isolation for poor behaviour has halved since she decided to revive stricter teaching methods.

High achiever Albany student Elod Bors, 17, from Hornchurch said: “The silent corridors really allowed me to keep focused.

“At first I did not know how the idea could work, but it has been so beneficial, it reminded me things were serious and I needed to work hard towards my exams all year, it is a very good idea.”

Jess Packard-White, 16, from Hornchurch, who also scored high grades, said: “I was really nervous to open my results today, but we have had a lot of help from our teachers with revision and I was happy with the outcome.

“I think the silent corridors are a good idea and will have helped because they help students to concentrate better and it stops them from getting distracted in between lessons.”

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