GCSE results day: Grades and success stories from across north London
- Credit: Fortismere School
For students in year 11, Thursday was a big day as they picked up their GCSE results.
The grades range from 1 to 9, with an 8 or a 9 equivalent to what used to be called an A*. What was a C in "old money", is a 4.
With formal exams cancelled, this year's grades were based on a range evidence submitted over the academic year, including class tests and coursework.
The following are the results in the Ham&High area, received at the time of writing.
Joe Ryan led the way in Tufnell Park. He scored a remarkable set of nine grade 9s.
Wilf Clapham, Andrew Bodger and Benny Davies all did exceptionally well too. They each got seven 9s and two 8s.
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And David Allen, Christian Kuligowski, Eliza Clapcott and Amir Battye each achieved five 9s and three 8s.
Headteacher Nicholas John said: “It has been a challenging time to be a GCSE student, and every grade is richly deserved. I would like to extend my congratulations to our students on their remarkable achievements. Staff worked very effectively in teams to supply the teacher assessed grades.”
More than one in three grades at the East Finchley school was a 7 or higher, with standout pupils including Ilea – who scored nine 9s and an 8 – and Chukwuemeka who is hoping to go on to a career in finance. He scored four 9s and five 8s.
Aspiring chemist Estefania a fab four 9s and five 8s, and is now staying on to do A Levels at the school.
Headteacher Ms Henderson said: “I am so amazed with how the students coped with blended learning and the turmoil of disruption.
"It shows true resilience and character of all our students I am so proud of each and every one of them and thank the parents for their phenomenal support"
Camden School for Girls
Down in Camden, 16% of GCSE grades were 9s, while 81% of pupils passed both English and maths with a 5 or more.
Headteacher Elizabeth Kitcatt, who is set to retire, said: “Students at Camden School for Girls have been awarded outstanding grades in their GCSEs. Along with all young people, they have faced a particularly difficult time since March 2020 with long periods of disruption to their education.
“We are full of admiration for our students’ resilience, determination and tenacity as they coped with a complete change to the way in which they were assessed for their GCSEs."
City of London Academy Highgate Hill
Nicole Ortiz and Sharlene Cera led the way on Highgate Hill with 21 grade 9s between them. Also achieving incredible scores were Rakeb Alemu (ten 9s) and Anisa Hussain (eight 9s and two 8s).
Principal Prince Gennuh said: “We are delighted with the incredible sets of results achieved by all students. They have worked extremely hard and shown resilience and tenacity in a very challenging year."
Sharlene, who is hoping to pursue a dream in software engineering, thanked her family for supporting her and added: “Thanks to all our teachers for believing in us, the pandemic did not stop them from stretching us academically. Without all the extra catch-up lessons and their encouragement, we wouldn't have achieved these great results.”
Year 11s at the Muswell Hill school did outstandingly this year. 91% of pupils earned a 4 or higher in maths, and 93.5% managing that in English.
The school's co-headteachers, Jo Davey and Zoe Judge, said the school's "progress 8" score, which measures pupils best eight results and is used to compare schools, was the highest it had ever been.
The headteachers added in a statement: "These outcomes will ensure our students have the secure foundations they need to pursue further study post-16, the vast majority of whom will be staying with us to study at our successful and exciting sixth form.
"Such outcomes, as always, are achieved due to the dedication and hard work of our students ably supported by their teachers. Our students have shown such grit, resilience and determination during the last few difficult months and we are very much looking forward to seeing what they will achieve when they are back in school engaging with their learning in September."
Top talents in NW2 included Jada Cupid, whose standout grades were 9s in English literature and English language. She's looking forward to continuing with A Levels next month.
Matt Sadler, headteacher at the Westbere Road school, said: "These young people have been through so much over the past 18 months - their success is very much deserved.”
Haringey Learning Partnership
Alternative provision provider HLP had plenty to shout about with students excelling and now figuring out their next steps on the way to futures in architecture and art, among others.
Pupils had Haringey mayor Cllr Adam Jogee and the borough's children's chief Cllr Zena Brabazon along to celebrate too, while HLP paid tribute to the pupils who "really lived up to our shared values of aiming high and striving to do the best they possibly can".
Headteacher Gerry Robinson said: "We couldn’t be prouder of our young people today. As students in alternative provision, they already face a variety of barriers to education, in addition to the added stress and anxiety of studying throughout a global pandemic.
"HLP students have embraced the and love of learning and determination which we foster here, and it was lovely to see them open their results and realise that all their hard work was worth it.”
Pupils to make waves with their results included Alex, who's celebrating eight qualifications including a much-deserved 5 in food preparation and hygiene. He's off to do a sports science course.
Star artist Ruth was also beaming. The budding Van Gogh → who has already exhibited work in Haringey's parks – scored a 7 in fine art and 5s in maths and English. She's off to take an art course and hopes to become an architect.
Harris Academy St John's Wood
Pupils at Harris Academy St John's Wood had a "fantastic set of results" according to principal Samantha Green.
"Over the past 18 months, our students have shown remarkable resilience and positivity," she said.
"These results are even more impressive given the challenges of the pandemic and they have all worked so hard to get these fantastic results. Their success is due to their continued hard work, the dedicated teaching they have received and the encouragement of their parents and families. "
Headteacher James Hadley led the tributes to his year 11s.
He said: "This group of students did everything they could to overcome the problems faced by the pandemic, including attending over 95% of their online lessons when the school was closed and revising diligently for their exams until the very end of Year 11.
"We are all very proud of what they have achieved and are hugely thankful to our wonderful staff who supported them every step of the way."
Top performers included Sabrina Gozzo De Souza, who scored seven 9s and an 8 and will stay at the school for A Levels in biology, chemistry and geography.
Also chuffed were Zeynab Hassan and Aysha Begum. Aysha scored six 9s, an 8 and a 7 and will do A Levels in biology, chemistry and psychology. Zeynab achieved one 9, five 8s, two 7s and a 6 and will be doing engineering, maths and physics in September.
At the Montenotte Road school, staff and students were celebrating some top grades, and dismissing talk of "grade inflation".
Headteacher Patrick Cozier said: "It would be unfair to them to undermine their achievements with talk of grade inflation. It is impossible to compare the last two years with previous cohorts. The difference in the assessment process, the unique experience of online learning, and the disruption created repeated isolations have created an unprecedented set of circumstances."
Of all grades, 24% were 8s or 9s, and the figure rises to 39% when you account for 7s. The average grade was a 6, while 62% of students scored a grade 5 or higher in maths and English.
Mr Cozier added: "I am particularly proud of this year group. Despite the most significant of challenges and the level of disruption over the last eighteen months, they worked so hard, stayed focused and have performed brilliantly.
"The level of resilience they have shown has been remarkable and the excellent grades that they have achieved are well-deserved."
Hornsey School for Girls
Some stellar results lit up the morning at Hornsey School for Girls in Inderwick Road. Top performers included Cici Liu and Iva Shehu. Cici scored ten grades of 8 or 9 and is going to do A Levels at the sixth form of Latymer School. She's planning to do maths, physics, chemistry and biology.
Iva also shone, receiving nine grade 9s and an 8. She's off to North London Collegiate School in Barnet and is aiming to study maths, economics, further maths, and computer science.
Headteacher Kuljit Rahelu said: "Congratulations to students on these results which are a testament to their hard work from the day they start in the school in year 7. This is the culmination of a school career here. Every student will no doubt triumph on the next stage of their education or training or work place."
Subjects to see particular success included computer science and chemistry – which each saw 59% of pupils getting a 7 or higher.
Other success stories included twins Naila and Thara who, between them, scored twenty grades of 7, 8 or 9.
The secondary school secondary in Golders Green celebrated an excellent set of results.
A total of 51% of results were at grades 8 and 9 and 74% at grades 9-7. Overall, 99.5% of results were graded 9-4.
Robert Lobatto, the King Alfred head, said: “I’m immensely proud of this group of students who have managed all the ups and downs of this pandemic.
“These results show that you can have very high academic standards combined with a holistic approach to education without placing unnecessary pressures on young people.
“I also believe that the opportunity for teachers to assess the work over time has helped shine a light on how we should be rethinking GCSEs and along with many others in the education world, I hope this will lead to positive changes moving forward.”
Student Maisie said: “I’ve done well so I’m very happy. I’m most pleased with my 9 in history.
“The school have been really supportive throughout lockdown and I think that because you have a close relationship with your teachers here, you really want to do well for them and it’s a really nice environment to work in.”
La Sainte Union
Pupils at LSU "responded very well" to the challenges of doing GCSEs during a global pandemic, and a fantastic 48 students averaged at least a grade 7.
Headteacher Sophie Fegan said: "The class of 2021 faced a particularly difficult time since the pandemic sent us into lockdown in March 2020. We are particularly proud of what La Sainte Union students have achieved and we admire their resilience."
She said the pupils had achieved such success through "sheer hard work and determination".
83.4% of students scored passes in at least five subjects including maths and English, while 75% of pupils taking triple science received the top grades.
Stars included Lilly – nine 9s and an A in additional maths – and Lucia with eight 9s and a 7, along with the same top grade in the extra maths qualification.
Helena Davis was another strong performer, she scored five 9s and two 7s, but told this paper she was actually most relieved to grab a 4 in Spanish – a subject she had worried about.
She added: "It's really wonderful as it makes all the effort we put in during online school really worth it. I've just been focussing on the day-to-day."
Helena, who lives by Hampstead Heath, is "changing things up" and heading to King Alfred School in Golders Green for sixth form, but her first priority after getting her results was to enjoy the day.
She said: "Me and mum have been out for a delicious lunch – we went to Wagamama's."
Maria Fidelis RC
Stars at the Somers Town school included Mansil Yoon, who got six 9s, three 8s and a 7, and Liam Fowkes, who got six 9s, two 8s and two 7s. Also impressive were Jack Minto and Emilia Nzeako, both of whom got three 9s, four 8s and two 7s, and Tamara Donbraye, who got one 9, six 8s and two 7s.
Headteacher Helen Gill said: “The students should feel incredibly proud of their achievements. They worked really hard and coped admirably in the face of much uncertainty and constant change."
North Bridge House Hampstead
An impressive set of results saw the school record 99% of grades 5+ in English language and 94% grades 5+ in both English literature and maths.
Brendan Pavey, the executive headteacher, said: “These are a truly wonderful set of results from a cohort of students who have been through a GCSE course like no other.
“The resilience and dedication that they have shown in order to do their very best has been remarkable. I could not be prouder of them and their teachers.”
Top performing student Lara Wall achieved straight grade 9s in all nine of her subjects. The pupil will now go to A-levels in maths, physics, philosophy and politics at Woodhouse College.
Fellow students Shahnoor Babar, Aran Paskaralingam and Daisy Ellis-Thompson were also “on cloud nine”, after securing eight, seven and six grade 9s respectively.
Parliament Hill School
Staff at Parliament Hill were delighted with the success from a slew of talented teenagers. The school said 44% of all grades were 7s or higher – an improvement on 2019 – and 89% of pupils passed both English and maths.
Headteacher Sarah Creasey said her year 11s had put in a "tremendous effort".
She said: "The results are very well-deserved and comparable with outcomes in previous years. Today, girls have enjoyed celebrating their achievements in school, with many enrolling on to a range of academic courses at LaSWAP.
"We’d like to thank families for their support this year and to take this opportunity to acknowledge the commitment, care and academic support of teachers and pastoral teams who are delighted with these results."
Regent High School
Camden's Regent High School was celebrating more than 30 grade 9s shared among its star pupils.
Headteacher Gary Moore said his year 11s performed "outstandingly well", adding: "We are hugely proud of our students and the grades they have achieved, which illustrates the endurance, tenacity and stamina demonstrated by them. We congratulate each of our Year 11 students, and wish them well for successful and happy futures."
Standout performers included Saira Begum, Fiona Pacolli, Mustapha Blain, Jude Morgan, Labiba Ahmed, Elias Zemry, Malina Mielczarek, Fatima Ahmed, Faiza Khan and Lucjano Kumanaku who all scored at leas three 9s.
The ambitious pupils are now looking ahead to what they could study at university, with Saira sharing big plans to try to go to Oxford or Cambridge to do medicine, and Mustapha hoping to head in the same direction to do economics.
St Aloysius RC College
Staff and students in Highgate were delighted to report the highest average grades since the revamped GCSEs were brought in.
Several St Aloysius pupils, including Berkay Benjamin Karakas, achieved straight 9s.
Headteacher Paula Whyte praised “the resilience and tenacity of the Year 11 students, complemented by the incredible support of experienced and passionate teachers”, and added that a “record number” of students would be continuing at St. Aloysius for sixth form.
Berkay Benjamin Karakas, who has ambitions of studying medicine at university, told the this newspaper: “I didn’t think this day would come after five years, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s so rewarding and satisfying."
Pupils said that they'd adapted to Covid-era remote learning well, and it had "given us more time to learn".
Pupils at UCL Academy in Swiss Cottage had much to be proud of. The school said its pupils had performed well above the national average and highlighted that pupils never used the pandemic as an excuse.
Star students included Farhan Chowdury, who scored nine 9s and a 7; Lexi Rosenberg with five 9s and five 8s; and Sahra Nur with three 9s, four 8s and three 7s.
Co-headteachers Robin Street and Simon McBride said in a statement: "Their superb results are a reflection of the hard work, commitment and aspiration they have shown over the past two years of study.
"So much has been said about the obstacles they have faced throughout the pandemic, however what is so striking is how they have never used it as an excuse or a reason not to work and to make the very best of their individual ability."
Pupils at UCS in Frognal celebrated some stellar GCSE grades, but they had also used the pandemic year as an opportunity to volunteer in the Covid-stricken community.
Headteacher Mark Beard said: "These pupils should be proud of their results. Like all 16 year olds across the country, they have had to deal with unprecedented circumstances during the last 18 months of their education.
"We were fortunate to be able to teach a full timetable online during the lock downs but what stood out for me during this period was how our school community drew closer. I was seriously impressed by the number of charitable and educational initiatives that our pupils chose to involve themselves in."
Among those collecting impressive results was Xavi Mesquita, who got six 9s and three 8s. He spent time organising food bank collections and helping out at the Kentish Town Food Bank.
He said: "Working at the food bank was extremely rewarding. I was pleased I could contribute to my local community and support people who really needed help during this time.”
Great results for Alex Christenson (six 9s, three 8s and a 7) and Aidan Pick (nine 9 grades and an 8) topped off a year that saw them help run maths catch-up classes for local primary school pupils.
Pupils at Westminster Academy in Maida Vale delighted in top marks in a range of subjects, with the school particularly proud of a series of talented linguists.
Some of the success stories included Eran Joseph Voce (eight 9s, one 5 and one starred distinction), Fadi Mohamed (six 9s and four 8s), and Fatma Ghassem, (five 9s and five 8s and an A in an additional maths course).
Niveah Henningham-De Zoysa, whose sister Tejah was among those to get to IB results at the school earlier in the week, achieved four 9s, three 8s, one 7 and two starred distinctions
Languages are a key focus and the school was celebrating passing grades in a eight different language courses – including Russian, Farsi and Arabic.
Matthew Amorin achieved 9s in Portuguese and Spanish and a 7 in French.
He said: "Since I was really young, my parents told me that the more languages you speak, the more opportunities you come across.”
Principal Dr Paul Wood said: "I sincerely hope that when our students look back upon the period of the pandemic in years to come, they will feel immense pride at what they have achieved despite such disruptive circumstances.”