A RUTHIN school has been ranked in the top three best independent schools in Wales.

Ruthin School has been ranked third place in the Welsh independent category of The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2019.

The rankings are based on this summer’s exam results in which the Ruthin independent’s GCSE results in the A*/A grade boundary rose from 53.89 per cent in 2017 to 65.46 per cent in 2018.

The school was the only north Wales independent in the top 10 in Wales and moved from 91st to 76th in the UK rankings.

Meanwhile it’s a level results remained at a high of 90.4 per cent in the A*-B grade boundary.

Toby Belfiled, Ruthin School’s principal, believes the school’s GCSE results have contributed to its rise in the national rankings. He said: “It goes without saying that I am extremely proud of our pupils and teachers, for their hardwork in achieving this outstanding success.

“The reason that our GCSE results have seen such an improvement is that the measures we introduced to our A level cohort many years ago were introduced to this particular GCSE cohort as well.

“This is the compulsory Saturday testing element of a Ruthin School education. All students from year nine upwards have four hours of testing on a Saturday morning, with no teacher allowed to test their students in classes. This means that the lessons are purely used for teaching, and all assessment takes place at the weekend.

“The results are analysed by a dedicated member of our Senior Leadership Team, and then special tutorials and support are provided on an individual basis.

“Any weaknesses are identified and (hopefully!) eliminated. Parents are provided with the results from the tests within a few days, on at least a weekly basis – and at Ruthin School, all test results are shared with all pupils, so everyone knows each other’s position in class.

“There is great focus on academic achievement.”

The school’s strongest academic subject is mathematics, in which it won the UK National Mathematics Championships for the third consecutive year last February and represented the UK in the European Mathematical Olympiad.

Mr Belfield said: “I see Ruthin School as flying the flag for education in our area. The teaching staff we employ are excellent, with outstanding subject knowledge. They have the personalities and skills to really understand how to get the best out of our students.

“Ruthin School is the best academic school in our area, but we are currently ranked 4th out of all coeducational boarding schools in the UK – so it is not only in north Wales that we are seen as a leading school.”