A-Levels: How sports training regime contributed to good grades

In an article in the Oxford Mail, 17/08/13, Charlotte Krol reports on students from the school of HMC's incoming Chairman, Dr Tim Hands, who credit sport for helping them study better for their A-Levels.

MOST people would link academic success with round-the-clock studying in libraries and bedrooms.

But that’s not the case for a number of high-flyers at Magdalen College School in Oxford who, during results day on Thursday, said that sport helped them study better for their A-Levels.

Joe Gough, 18, from Shillingford, who achieved four A*s and won both the National and International Schools’ Team Racing Championships this year for sailing, said the “routine” of training was key to his success.

He said: “I wouldn’t normally be out of bed so early on a Saturday morning for training – it definitely gave me routine and focus.”

His teammate Sam Jenkins, 18, from Shillingford, was another high achiever with five A*s.

It is the third year in a row that Magdalen College School’s 1st VI sailing team has won the national championship and the second time in three years that it has won the international race.

Magdalen College School saw improvements in all grades boundaries this year, with A*s up by a third from last year (33.55 per cent to 44.3 per cent) and A* to A grades 91.01 per cent compared with 84.52 per cent last year.

Master of the school Tim Hands said: “We’re very pleased with the results.

“They’ve all done a huge number of extra-curricular activities.

“We think that’s why they’ve done so well – we’re delighted for them.”

Another sporty student who was “happy” with her two A* and two A grades was 18-year-old Charlotte Burrows, a bronze medallist in the Under-18 Girls’ EuroHockey Youth Championship in Dublin this month.

She said: “The grades are what I hoped for and I’m pretty happy.

“Hockey distracts me and helps me study better – if I’m anxious about work, it helps me.

“I suppose my A-Levels were a massive pressure and it was really nerve-wracking waiting for my results.”

Miss Burrows, who will read architecture at Cambridge University in October, said that she trained for eight hours on a Sunday for the Under-18 Girls’ England hockey team, among representing her school during the week.

Her next aim is to get onto the Under-21 Girls’ England hockey team.

Ninety-five per cent of the school’s students got into their first choice university, with two pupils going into clearing.

The school is also celebrating a record 47 pupils meeting their Oxbridge offers.

Click here to read the article © Oxford Mail.