A Level results 2021: Top grades throughout Hampstead and Highgate
- Credit: Highgate Wood School
Students across north London are set to open a life-changing envelope today – it's A Level Results Day.
For the second year in a row, pupils around Hampstead and Highgate have not been able to sit physical exams and will instead be awarded grades calculated based on teacher assessments.
But what hasn't changed is that the grades our 17 and 18-year-olds get will set them on their way to university, college or their first jobs.
We're expecting the stellar results to come thick and fast around north London today, so whether you're in Golders Green or Muswell Hill, West Hampstead or Kentish Town, feel free to let us know how you or your loved ones have done!
Send your success stories and celebratory photographs to Sam.Volpe@Archant.co.uk and we will feature as many as we can in this week's Ham&High.
This years grades should be based on a "range evidence" submitted over the academic year, which can include class tests and coursework.
Unusually, this year A Level and GCSE results fall in the same week - this is to give pupils longer to appeal contentious grades ahead of potentially starting university in September.
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Staff and students at Channing School in Highgate were celebrating – with 97% of pupils off to their first choice universities.
Pupils are off to places like Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial, with others taking up arts courses at Central St Martin's and Anglia Ruskin.
Headteacher Lindsey Hughes said: "I congratulate all our students and their dedicated teachers for their hard work under the most difficult of circumstances.
"It has been particularly galling to see their achievements denigrated as ‘grade inflation’ in the media when in fact the results cannot be compared with any other year as the form of assessment was unique to this year.
"We know that these results reflect the best possible outcomes that our students could achieve, given the system of assessment put into place after the exams were cancelled in January 2021."
Muswell Hill's Fortismere School saw 50% of pupils receive an A or A* and 76% getting A*-B. The school said BTEC students also received "remarkable results".
Co-headteachers Zoe Judge and Jo Davey said in a statement: "These excellent results will enable our students to pursue their ambitions after a well-deserved period of celebration!
"Our students have impressed us throughout the last two years of interrupted education. Their resilience, determination and hard work, supported by their teachers, have enabled them to overcome many of the difficulties Covid has presented.
"Fortismere students have once again demonstrated they are committed, aspirational and ambitious and we are delighted that they will be moving on now with qualifications that are reflective of their hard work."
The school suffered an IT glitch in the morning of results day which resulted in frustrated pupils and parents, but this was resolved by midday.
Harris Academy St John's Wood
At Harris Academy St John’s Wood executive principal Nick Soar hailed students’ “level of resilience”.
The school can count some star performers among its ranks, who are all buzzing with excitement looking forward to their next steps.
Amazone got A*A*A and is going on to read Politics and IR at Manchester, while Narin racked up four A*s and will also be heading to Manchester, where she will read PPE.
Rania, who was tearful, told us she is “so excited” to read medicine at King’s College London, having received four A*s – despite the “stressful” Covid experience which “hit her hard” in the last couple of days. Her mum said she “deserves it because she’s so hardworking”.
Salma meanwhile managed to pick up three A*s, despite only doing her A Levels in one year. She is now returning Egypt to read engineering in Cairo.
Mr Soar said he was “delighted” with students’ hard work, adding: “Education has become mono-focussed on the impact of Covid, but the situation has encouraged greater collective work between families, schools, communities and the government.”
Haverstock School in Belsize also saw some tremendous results – with more pupils than ever before heading off to Russell Group universities.
Star performers include Abigail Silva-Matthews, who is going to Bristol University to study English after grades of A*A*A and Shuhana Begum who will study marketing and management at Queen Mary’s after achieving an A* and two starred distinction grades.
Ervin Hajdarmata is another pupil celebrating. He's off to Manchester to study architecture after achieving a Distinction*, an A* and an A.
Headteacher James Hadley said: “Our Year 13 students have shown incredible resilience and determination and have succeeded despite facing more disruption than any group of young people since World War 2.
"Their achievements are extraordinary and we are hugely grateful to our wonderful staff who have worked tirelessly to support them.”
At Haverstock, 53% of all grades awarded were A*-B.
At the West Hampstead-based school, top performers included Aafreen Ahmed, whose A*A*A has set her on the way to Keele University to study neuroscience and psychology.
Adam Banzragch-Meguellati – who scored a stellar A* A* A* in maths, further maths and physics – is going to KCL to study maths.
Highgate Wood School
At Highgate Wood, headteacher Patrick Cozier was "thrilled" by a year group where 45% of grades were A* or A and 73% at least a B.
He said: "They have achieved fantastic outcomes supported by our incredible teachers. All students and staff have had to work extra hard during these challenging times and these grades are a testament to that effort. We are so proud of everyone."
Notable achievers included Alabama Cawley, Aidan Dakhama, Caitlin Gillespie, Mae Greene, Frank Levy-Vegh, Sam Marks, Isobel Matthews, Joseph Mellet and Vukasin Winrow who all got three A*s.
Finley Read and Zandile Mathebula-Jonah each managed four top grades.
Students will be heading to universities including Oxford – where Sam Marks will do human sciences and Vukasin Winrow will do history.
Rudy Berman is off to do natural sciences at Cambridge. Another star is Max Eatherden (AAB) who is off to the Central Film School to study practical filmmaking.
King Alfred School
Students recorded an impressive 73% of grades as A*s and As, 88% as A*-B – and there was a 100% pass rate.
Felix achieved an A* in chemistry, physics, maths and further maths, and he’s heading to Cambridge to read natural sciences.
He said: “The King Alfred style of education has suited me because I enjoy independent learning and I’ve been able to achieve these results because of that. I’m looking forward to going to university and the challenges that will bring.”
Ava achieved two A*s and an A and is going to Manchester to read American studies. She said: “I’m really happy with my results. I’ve been at King Alfred since Year 1 so it feels very weird to be leaving – it hasn’t quite hit me yet.
“I think the independence you have here is so great. I’ve learnt to be self-disciplined and been able to push myself, but also to form really good relationships with my teachers.”
Robert Lobatto, headteacher, said students achieved “brilliant results in difficult circumstances”.
“Their success is a direct testament to their adaptability and hard work and the rising academic standards in the school,” Mr Lobatto said.
“While it hasn’t been easy, the way they have coped with disruption and risen above it to focus on their studies is admirable and I know they will continue to thrive whatever they choose to do in the future.”
Students were in buoyant mood at the cohort of schools including La Sainte Union, William Ellis, Acland Burghley and Parliament Hill.
Tania Sultana from Acland Burghley said she is "feeling positive" before studying psychology at LSE.
Matthew from William Ellis received A*AA and he is going on to do chemical engineering at either UCL or Imperial.
“'Weird' is the only word to describe’ Sixth Form studies during a pandemic,” Matthew said.
Tammy, meanwhile, is heading to Loughborough to read economics and finance.
Chester Clapham said he felt very supported by the school throughout his studies. Chester will be taking a gap year mountaineering in Nepal before reading medicine at Sheffield.
Asma, who will study history at Oxford, said she cried to her mum the day exams were cancelled – but now felt “relieved” given the “unpredictability of not being able to gauge how well we’d done”.
“A big credit to our teachers, they were more help than the Department for Education,” Asma added.
Mayo Ogunlabi, associate director of LaSWAP, said she is “really proud of her students’ hard work” after being “significantly affected by the pandemic” due to lack of technical equipment.
Paddington Academy in Marylands Road, Maida Vale also had a top class set of A Level results. The school's principal Peter Jones said: “Our Year 13s have been a fantastic group of students who have demonstrated incredible resilience, work ethic and ambition throughout their time with us – and especially during what has been a particularly difficult 18 months for everyone."
High-achievers who are now off to fantastic universities or colleges include Alanis Dos Santos, who will studying astrophysics at UCL in September, and Rassim Lagha, who's off to Bristol to do aerospace engineering.
Riyad Zaini is also looking forward to heading to Imperial to pursue a career in medicine, while Liam Francis is heading to the University of Bath to study the rather more unusual course of robotics engineering.
Regent High School
The Somers Town school was another to see huge success. More than half of all grades were A*s or As and students will be heading to universities including King's College London (KCL) and SOAS.
Happy pupils included Hamza Yousif, who's off to Goldsmiths to study international relations with three A* grades and a B. Hamza only started at Regent High in year 10 - having moved to England from Kuwait.
Diana Vorona scored three A*s and is off to do the same subject but at KCL, she said she "was so grateful to all of my teachers; they knew I wanted to achieve highly, and always pushed me to reach my potential".
Other stars included Abdirahman Ahmed (A*A*A) and Tasniah Miah (AAA), while both Mohammed Abidul Islam and Faharzana Chowdhury scored three starred distinctions in their BTEC courses. Inspired by her teachers at Regent High and Richard Cobden Primary, Faharzana is off to study primary education.
Headteacher Gary Moore said: "We are thrilled with the exceptional results our students have achieved this year. Their successes come despite the disruption to their schooling during Year 12 and Year 13 as a result of the worldwide pandemic.
"Learning continued online during both of these closure periods, and it is testament to the students’ hard work, resilience and motivation that they have been awarded such fantastic results."
St Aloysius College
The Highgate school saw 94% of its students secure A*-C grades. In addition, 49% took A*-A grades.
Many students had reason to be proud of their results. These included William Ghebremichael achieving A*A*A, Mathusun Maheswaran achieving A*AA and Mohammod Hamza achieving A*AB. Kevin Alvarez da Silva, Frederick Andoh and David Woyo all achieved AAB. Camilo Quinceno Marin achieved A*BB.
William said: "I wasn’t too nervous because I know how hard I’ve worked for this, but I am relieved all the same and delighted to get such great results. I got A*A*A and I’m going to study politics at Leeds. No.10 here I come!”
Head of sixth form, Ranjit Pabila, said: “Our students have shown extraordinary dedication and resilience through these unprecedented times.
"Some 37% have secured places at Russell Group Universities, well above the national average, enabling them to access fantastic opportunities.”
A great showing for the Swiss Cottage school, where students have been in and out collecting their grades this morning.
Vlad Iacob was chuffed after earning himself A*A*A. The 18-year-old will now go on to study architecture at UCL, and he said he was so happy to “reunite” with friends who he hadn’t seen much of since exams in June.
Riana Rahman, 18, is excited for her Foundation year at Central Saint Martins, stressing how lockdown has encouraged her to think about what she wants – and “art is what I want to do”.
Patrick is going on to read law at Brasenose College, Oxford. He said he is “really proud” and “really grateful for what the school has offered in terms of pastoral support".
Headteacher Mark Beard paid tribute to a "Herculean" effort from his pupils adding: "We are proud of what our sixth formers have achieved this year. These pupils achieved recording-breaking GCSE results back in 2019 and deserve their outstanding A Level results today."
Some pupils were able to open their results at the school. These included Alex Burns, who is off to Cambridge to study maths with three A*s and top marks in the STEP maths exams.
He said: “I am so grateful for the teachers who taught and supported me, especially the maths department who are amazing. Doing STEP was hugely challenging but my teachers really pushed me and I can’t thank them enough.”
Sara Bonakdar, one of the pupils at UCS who had full fee assistance, said: “I joined UCS in Year 12 and it felt like a great stepping stone between school and university. We were given a lot of independence, but our teachers also gave us great support throughout. I start at St Andrew's in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait!”
Other high-achievers include Georgia Adams, who's off to Cambridge too, also with three A*s, Flore Hendrickx who's going to Oxford to study biochemistry with straight A*s and Charlie Quinn who's going further afield – to McGill University in Montreal. He scored three A*s.
Students at Westminster Academy in Paddington take the International Baccalaureate rather than A Levels, and seven pupils stood out with scores of over 40 out of a possible 45.
Juned Muhith and Ismail Chishti, who both achieved an exceptional 44 points are off to Cambridge, with along with Tejah Henningham-Dezoysa, who achieved 43 points.
Kian Jinnah, who also achieved 43 points and will be taking up a place at LSE.
Juned said: "I’m ecstatic! But I’m a bit sad too as our WA journey is now over. My friends have been my rocks and I’m so happy that despite Covid, we have managed to have amazing memories during the Sixth Form.”
Tejah added: “It’s been a tumultuous year, and we’ve all sacrificed so much to get to this point, but it finally feels worth it.”
Dr Paul Wood, who has been Principal since January, added: "Dr Paul Wood. “We are extremely proud of the members of our Class of 2021, who thoroughly deserved their success; the positivity and strength with which they have persevered throughout their IB programme has been inspiring to all of us at school.”
Congratulations from the councils
Camden Council's education chief, Cllr Angela Mason, said the borough's sixth formers "have shown determination and commitment during what has been a year like no other". She added: "This is a fantastic achievement for them as well as for their teachers, other school staff and parents who have supported these young people during their studies throughout the pandemic.
“I’m sure headteachers, teachers and parents will be feeling very proud of all that Camden’s students have achieved during such a difficult time."
Cllr Zena Brabazon, Haringey Council’s cabinet member for early years, children and families, said: "The past 18 months have been a really challenging and difficult time for all of us, but it’s been especially so for young people across Haringey with all of the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
"They’ve all been through so much and getting exam results can be a daunting experience at the very best of times. Should they then need some support, they should reach out to the people around them for help as it’s undoubtedly a big moment in their young lives.
"That’s why I want our young people to know just how proud we are of all of them here at Haringey Council. They’ve shown exemplary determination, hard work and resilience and these fantastic pupils – along with our first-rate schools and sixth form colleges, support staff and teachers – are a credit to our borough.
"Irrespective of whatever it is they choose to do next, I wish them all the absolute best for the future.
Westminster Council's education chief Cllr Tim Barnes also paid tribute to students, saying: "I’m extremely proud of our students in Westminster who have gone through another challenging and disruptive year of education.
“Despite the obstacles faced, they have excelled in their results at our excellent Westminster school sixth forms and colleges."