Academic Success

Excelsior Academy operates a successful and innovative small schools within a school model comprising Rainbird Primary, Excelsior College Sixth Form and three 11 to 16 schools – Collingwood, Hadrian and Milburn. The Academy first opened in 2008 and the Primary School was introduced in 2013. Despite the considerable challenges we face we have made exceptional progress in our first nine years and are proud of our year on year improvements. In 2017 we were presented with an Educational Outcomes Award for pupil progress which placed us in the top 20% of schools nationally and the top 1% of similar schools (FFT Aspire). This year we also see our first Excelsior alumnus take up a place at Oxford University.

Excelsior College: 16-19 study programmes

Once again, the achievements of Excelsior College students has produced our best ever results.


The pass rate for Academic A levels was 100% and for Vocational/Applied General qualifications is 100%. 81% of students gained a Distinction *- Distinction grade.

Average Overall Grade: B-

APS: 37.20

Average Attainment Grade:

Academic: C-

Applied General: Distinction *-


Overall L3VA: +0.45

All A level and Vocational results in 2017 have a Value Added score in-line with or above national figures.

Targets set against national measures for prior attainment in Academic A Levels and Applied General Qualifications overall were all exceeded

Qualification Type Excelsior
Applied General +1.04
A Level (Academic) -0.30


Average Points Score on Entry 2016:

APS on entry Excelsior National
Academic 38.9 46.2
Applied General 37.5 40.0


Conversion Rates in Resits 2017:

Subject Excelsior National Average

Maths                                71%                                         26%

English                                  27%                                        28%


Progress in 2016 for English and Maths Resit:

Subject Excelsior National Average
English +0.058 -0.100
Maths +0.080 -0.127

Retention and Destinations 2016:

The total number of pupils/students in education/employment in 2016 are as follows:

Year 11 – total pupils 171, 6 are NEET = 96.5% in education/employment

Year 12 – total pupils 94, 1 is NEET = 98.9% in education/employment

Year 13 – total pupils 97, 4 are NEET = 95.9% in education/employment

Year 14 – total pupils 7, 0 NEET = 100% in education/employment

Record numbers of students have gained places at University with almost all to their first choice. Our students are going on to study for degrees in subjects such as Medicine, Law, Business and International Management at Universities in Durham, Newcastle, York, Sunderland and Northumbria. In addition we have improved our support and monitoring of student destinations, and have secured progression routes for all including over 40% of students moving into employment, training or apprenticeships. 100% of Excelsior College students had an experience of work in 2016-17.

Year 13 Destinations 2016:

University 26%
Rolls Royce 12%
Excelsior College 16%
Apprenticeship 7%
Newcastle College 10%
Employment 20%
Traineeship 2%
Possible NEET 3%
Moved out of area 4%


Rainbird Primary School

Rainbird Primary initially opened for Reception and Year 1 pupils in 2013, still only in our fifth year we are now oversubscribed from Nursery to Year 5 with an increasing and viable cohort in Year 6 (22 at the time of writing following admissions in 09/17). As a relatively new and innovative school operating as an integral part of Excelsior (all-through) Academy, standards and expectations are improving rapidly year on year. For example, all progress measured are up on last year – Primary Data pack 2017.

In 2017, 72% of Reception pupils achieved the Good Level of Development Measure – which is above the 2016 National Average (NA)

In Year 1 – 79% of pupils passed the Phonics Screening Test, which is in line with NA 2016. Children in receipt of Pupil Premium funding out performed other children at 82%, which is also above 2016 NA.

In Year 2- 41% of pupils achieved expected standards in reading, writing and maths. 52% reached expected standards in reading and writing.  Pupils that have been with us since Reception performed better than the pupils who joined later: 50% achieving expected standards in reading, writing and maths; 58% achieving expected standards in reading and writing.

Subject to change: 29% of the 2017 Y6 cohort joined the class during Y6; 71% of pupils joined the academy in Y5 and therefore no pupils had been with us for more than two years. The majority of these pupils are new to the country and EAL (53%) and the percentage of pupils with SEN is high (24%). Despite this 12% of the cohort achieved expected outcomes in reading, writing and maths. One pupil exceeded the majority of end of key stage expectations.

12% pupils attained expected standards in reading, writing and maths; 24% pupils attained expected standards in reading; 6% pupils achieved higher; 24% pupils attained expected standards in writing; 29% pupils attained expected standards in maths.

Despite the high level of International New Arrivals in this cohort, 41% pupils achieved expected standards in GPS; 6% achieved the higher standard.

Pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding have performed significantly better than pupils who do not receive funding in both reading and maths and better than others in writing.

29% of pupils in receipt of pupil premium achieved the expected standards in reading, writing and maths.

Progress for this year group is good. Progress in reading and maths is above the government floor targets -5.

Maths progress score -4.1

Reading progress score -4.6

Writing progress score -9.9


EA 11-16 GCSE performance

Although our 2016 GCSE Results were our best ever, placing the academy in the top 20% of schools nationally for pupil progress and the top 1% for contextual progress, subsequent government changes to the curriculum, examination and assessment process’ means that a direct and accurate comparison with previous results is no longer possible. The changes mean that GCSE examinations have become harder and the new numerical assessment framework is a significant change from the grading system we have all been used to.

It is important to note a number of key factors associated with the cohort –

53% of the Y11 pupils had English as an additional language (EAL).

62% of the cohort are eligible for Pupil Premium

59% of the cohort fall into the Deprivation category.

42% of the cohort have special educational needs (SEND).

In terms of turbulence, 40% of the cohort joined us after the beginning of Year 7.

Key Stage 2 Prior Ability (PA) banding

N/A 48 pupils 27%
Low PA 41 pupils 23%
Middle PA 65 pupils 37%
High / Upper PA 23 pupils 13%

Excelsior Academy continues to deliver very positive outcomes in terms of individual pupil progress, and we have been delighted with the exceptional results achieved by so many of our pupils.

Overall year group attendance was maintained at well above 95%.

At the time of writing our indicative Progress 8 score (which may change) is -0.19 which is currently above the national floor standard of -0.5 and also above the standard used to identify ‘Coasting Schools’ which is -0.25.

The average total Attainment 8 score was 34.00

The percentage of pupils who achieved the new standard basics measure of a 4 or above in both English and Maths was 33%.

The percentage of pupils who achieved the new strong basics measure of a 5 or above in both English and Maths was 10%.

The percentage of pupils who achieved a 4 or above in English was 40%.

The percentage of pupils who achieved a 5 or above in English was 13%.

The percentage of pupils who achieved a 4 or above in Maths was 46%.

The percentage of pupils who achieved a 5 or above in Maths was 19%.

4% of pupils were entered for the EBacc, with 2% achieving a standard pass and just over 1% achieving a strong pass.

The new 7, 8 and 9 higher grades were achieved by Excelsior pupils in English / Maths.

97% of all pupils achieved at least one qualification.

Performance in the Open Progress 8 subjects was particularly strong with a high value added factor.

Performing Arts had a 71% pass rate.

PE had a 92% pass rate.

Hospitality and Catering (Food) had a 68% pass rate.

Individual Success

Zainab Saeed, joined Excelsior in Year 9 after moving from Italy, and had to learn English – very quickly. Incredibly she achieved 5 A* grades, 2 A grades and 7s in both English and Maths.

Lucy Ridley joined Excelsior from another Newcastle School and after a difficult start was moved up a year, so that she has sat her GCSE examination a year early and achieved – 9 GCSEs including A*, Distinction*, 8s and 7s.

Elle Thorpe amazed even herself with her 9 GCSEs including the highest grade 9 in English.


Updated:  13.9.2017

Performance Tables

You can access the Excelsior Academy performance tables via the Department for Education website here.