Setting classes in certain subjects, according to ability, enhances the effectiveness of lessons, and, in our experience, is welcomed by the pupils. We are very keen that parents do not feel excluded from the very effective working relationships which develop between teachers and pupils in schools of high academic quality such as Queen Ethelburga's. In our view, parents are a vital force if every pupil is to reach their full academic potential and we involve them fully.

Each pupil's progress is monitored on a regular basis by their teachers, a series of assessments being awarded periodically. These are given to pupils and their parents, to keep them well informed.

Throughout the year there are year academic consultations, which give parents the opportunity to meet and discuss any topics they wish with the staff. At the end of each half term, parents receive a full and detailed report or assessment on progress through school and on their child's development in each specific subject.

The move towards GCSE is smoothly accomplished, the average target for each pupil being about ten good grades. The choice of study courses is refined, in Year 10, to the selected GCSE subjects. PSHCE, Information & Communications Technology, Physical Education and Games are added, to maintain the breadth of education we provide for every pupil. IT and PE are also available as GCSE subjects. Personal and social education (PSHCE) covers such topics as smoking, drugs, relationships, self-esteem, values and problems of discrimination. Careers lessons enhance this. In all areas the approach is designed to produce sensitive and positive responses to the issues raised.

A-Levels are the traditional route to University and QE has an impressive record of success. Queen Ethelburga's College is the UK's top number 1 School in the North for academic results, based on average UCAS A-Level points per student.