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A Level results day 2020: Highgate Wood and Fortismere students off to top universities, but teachers to ‘closely scrutinise’ results and plan appeals

PUBLISHED: 14:37 14 August 2020

At Fortismere School, Catherine Cassidy achieved three A*s and Joe Glass got three As in their A Levels. Picture: Fortismere

At Fortismere School, Catherine Cassidy achieved three A*s and Joe Glass got three As in their A Levels. Picture: Fortismere

Fortismere

In Haringey, some students at the biggest sixth form centres in the west of the borough were celebrating top results, but teachers were fighting for fairness after a controversial moderation process.

Succesful A Level pupils Ollie Freeman and Max Murphy from Highgate Wood School. Picture: Danny HalpinSuccesful A Level pupils Ollie Freeman and Max Murphy from Highgate Wood School. Picture: Danny Halpin

At both Highgate Wood and Fortismere schools, pupils achieved high scores, but the headteachers were concerned about individuals who had been hit by the algorithm Ofqual used to standardise grades in a year that saw teens unable to sit exams.

Highgate Wood’s success stories included Freya Dougan, Madeleine McBroom, Ollie Freeman and Max Murphy.

Freya’s four A*s see her set for Cambridge to study architecture, while though Madeleine’s A*AB were lower than her Oxford history offer, the university still allowed her to take up her place.

READ MORE: Acland Burghley pupil’s A Level success comes after caring for nan with coronavirus

READ MORE: A Level results day 2020: Live blog as grades come in around Hampstead, Highgate, Camden, Haringey and Barnet

Madeleine said: “I had an inkling that biology would be lower but it’s ok.” She added that she was expected the university to be more lenient this year.

Freya Dougan scored straight A*s in her A Levels at Highgate Wood School. Picture: Danny HalpinFreya Dougan scored straight A*s in her A Levels at Highgate Wood School. Picture: Danny Halpin

Director of sixth form Lindsay Pinnick said: “In general we’re pleased with [the results] but they should have been better. We’re disappointed with the system in that certain subjects have been downgraded.”

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Ollie is off to Bristol to read physics, while Max is heading for Durham to do maths. Ollie missed his offer, but the university let him in with the still-stellar AAB. Max got A*A*AB and told the Ham&High: ““It was what I expected but I was unsure because of the grade shifts, so I’m more relieved than anything.”

READ MORE: Impact of downgraded A Level results varies across north London – but some headteachers are scathing of Ofqual

Madeleine McBroom got great results at Highgate Wood and is off to Oxford. Picture: Danny HalpinMadeleine McBroom got great results at Highgate Wood and is off to Oxford. Picture: Danny Halpin

Meanwhile, the co-headteachers at Fortismere School were of a similar opinion.

Jo Davey and Zoe Judge said in a statement: “We are pleased to report that our students are celebrating another year of outstanding results.”

Overall, 11 per cent of grades were A*s, and 70pc were at least a B.

Stars included Catherine Cassidy who scored three A*s, and Joe Glass with three As.

The co-heads added: “This success comes at the end of two years of incredible hard work from our students and a period of extraordinary confusion. Throughout they have shown resilience and pragmatism and we are very proud of how they responded to the disruption in their final year.”

The school confirmed it would be closely scrutinising individual results and “challenging outcomes with which we disagree”.


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