Thirty GCSE students from The Wey Valley School joined others from around the UK for a special conference in Westminster to support likely high-achievers in this summer’s English Language GCSEs.

The day-long conference, which was organised by Key Note Educational offered the young delegates a series of talks and interactive sessions that focused on maximising potential in both reading and writing skills.

Michelle Simpson, head of English at Wey Valley, said: “We have many excellent students who have high ambitions to achieve A and A* grades in English and wish to go further at sixth form and university.

“The conference in London was a superb opportunity to broaden their skills, with addresses by leaders in the field of English education.

”Those who attended will take their new knowledge back to the classroom which, in turn, will benefit their fellow students too.”

Speakers included Christina Michaelides, a highly experienced teacher and presenter and Lucy Henderson, a former Head of English, Advanced Skills Teacher and Lead Practitioner.

Hannah Hunter in Year 11 said: “The day really made me think, particularly the sessions on how to write perceptively about presentation, and about reading with real understanding.  I feel I got a lot from it.”

Tom Sales, also in Year 11 said: “There was so much useful input from the speakers, and a great question and answer session at the end.  I’m so glad I went – it provided a real boost in the lead-up to our GCSEs.”

Steve Knight, Assistant Principal said: “This conference was aimed at students identified as being specially ‘gifted and talented’ in English language.  We firmly believe in providing all our students - whatever their level of ability – with as much support as we can offer to realise their full potential.”

Last year 10% of Wey Valley students achieved four or more GCSEs at A* or A, with their GCSE results up overall in contrast to national trends.  In 2014 9% more students at Wey Valley gained five good GCSEs including English and maths than the previous year, the best results ever recorded at the school for those and several other subjects.