Calder House celebrates best ever ESB results

1 June, 2021

The English Speaking Board exams represent the perfect storm for pupils at Calder House. The exams – which are invigilated by an external examiner – require pupils to recite a poem from memory, read a passage of text from a book with expression, and give a talk on a subject of their choice then field unscripted questions from the audience. Most children would find these daunting challenges but for pupils with dyslexic-traits (such a weak short term auditory memories) who find reading and remembering difficult, these exams test them on all the things that they find hardest… which is precisely why we do them. 


We do these exams because they are difficult. We do them to show our pupils what they are capable of and how far they have come on their learning journey since joining Calder House. We – their teachers – know what they are capable of. But that is not enough for children who often doubt their own abilities. Our pupils need to challenge themselves – to feel nervous but to overcome their nerves in order to rise to the challenge and dare to succeed. And succeed they have.


46 of our 48 pupils took this year’s exams – one child was not entered on the basis that she joined CHS at the beginning of this term; another child was self-isolating due to CV19 on the day of the examination. 17 pupils were entered for Level Three the most difficult exam available to pupils in their age-group. Every single child passed their exam with either distinction (19), merit plus (24) or merit (3) – the three highest grades awarded by the ESB. 


Just being able to take the English Speaking Board exams reflects the progress our pupils have made in terms of their self-belief and confidence. But the remarkable results they have achieved in this year’s exams shines a light on so many other fronts – revealing just how far our pupils have travelled along the road to achieving their true potential.  

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