Colchester's Roman Catholic comprehensive continues to set the benchmark for the town's non-selective schools, the Sats results indicate.

GCSE league tables published last month revealed St Benedict's College was the top performer outside of Colchester Royal Grammar School (CRGS) and Colchester County High School for Girls.

The level five aggregate Key Stage Three results show it has again outperformed all its rivals in Colchester, as well as East Bergholt High School, Thurstable School, in Tiptree, Honywood School, in Coggeshall, and Colne Community School, in Brightlingsea.

The Norman Way secondary has also done well on the value-added measures, which chart pupils' improvement.

It was the best in town, including both the grammars, regardless of whether progress was measured over children's entire school careers, or over their first three years at secondary level.

Headteacher John O'Hara said he was pleased.

"We are very happy we are hitting that score and although there is still room for improvement, we are achieving more than we expected to," he said.

"It would be very difficult for us to get 100 per cent five A*s to Cs, so the measure of how much value we are adding to the children's education is really important."

Elsewhere, the two Colchester grammar schools excelled, with at least 97 per cent of pupils at the girls' high school, and 99 per cent at CRGS, achieving not only level five but level six in all three core subjects of English, maths and science.

Philip Morant School did well again, giving St Benedict's a run for its money with an aggregate score of 265 compared to 269.

There was continued improvement for Colchester's Sir Charles Lucas Arts College, which notched up an increase in its aggregate Sats score for the third year running.

The Stanway School was hailing a rise in the percentage of pupils whose work reached the above-par level six standard, with 57 per cent making the grade in maths.

Alderman Blaxill School, where 21.8 per cent of pupils have special needs, remained rooted to the bottom of the Colchester league with an aggregate level five score more than 20 points worse than its closest rival Sir Charles Lucas.

St Helena School's performance remained steady with 70 per cent of pupils reaching level five in maths, helping it to achieve an aggregate total of 206.

The Gilberd School saw a downturn in fortunes, with an aggregate of 227 compared to 249 last year. Ofsted inspectors, who recently gave the school a good report, noted that changes had been put in place to make sure this year's results were better.

  • Secondary school bosses in Tendring brushed off the downward trend in Sats results.

Only one out of seven schools in the district improved on last year's figures.

The league tables show how 13 and 14-year-olds - year nine pupils - performed in English, mathematics and science exams in May.

Colne Community School, in Brightlingsea, was the only school which improved - registering 233 compared to last year's score of 200.

It also recorded the best results in English with 83 per cent of pupils achieving level five.

Principal Nardeep Sharma said: "The school made continuing upward progress in the tests.

"We were very pleased in particular with our performance in English."

There were plenty of positives for other headteachers to pick out of the statistics.

Manningtree High School scored top marks in the percentage of pupils getting level five in maths (79 per cent) and science (81 per cent).

The proportion of pupils scoring level six in maths was streets ahead of other schools at 70 per cent.

Headteacher Deborah Hollister said: "The key stage results for the current Year ten are a real encouragement for some excellent results in Year 11.

"Well done to everyone for their hard work."

Clacton County High School pupils made the biggest improvement since taking exams at primary school.

The school's value added measure is 100.9, which shows pupils making more progress from primary school than similar pupils nationally.

Jeff Brindle, principal, said: "We were extremely pleased by the results in all three subjects.

"The value-added measure was over 100 in English, maths and science and this recognises the hard work of staff and students."

Tendring Technology College in Frinton scored 100 in the value-added measure as more than 70 per cent of pupils achieved level five in all three subjects.

Students at The Harwich School excelled in maths with 72 per cent reaching level five and 45 per cent making the grade at level six.

Colbyans High School in Clacton was competing against a particularly high aggregate score of 180 in 2006. This year's figure of 152 was still higher than it achieved in 2004 and 2005.

Bishops Park College recorded the lowest scores in the district.

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