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GCSE results day: Camden students at UCL Academy, Acland Burghley and William Ellis ‘celebrate’ grades

PUBLISHED: 17:09 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:27 20 August 2020

Marli England and Zainab Adams from Acland Burghley. Picture: Polly Hancock

Marli England and Zainab Adams from Acland Burghley. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Camden students received their GCSE results on Thursday after the “rollercoaster” of coronavirus lockdown and the government’s U-turn on grades.

UCL Academy's co-principal Robin Street with students receiving their results. Picture: Polly HancockUCL Academy's co-principal Robin Street with students receiving their results. Picture: Polly Hancock

On August 20, the Ham&High paid a visit to The UCL Academy, Acland Burghley School, and William Ellis School to see pupils pick up their results and to hear of their next steps.

Twin sisters Rana and Maram Noury, from UCL Academy, said they were “over the moon” with their results.

Rana said: “I was stressing too much and at times I was doubting myself. I’m so happy now but it’s been a rollercoaster.”

Maram said she couldn’t have done it without her twin. She told this newspaper: “Rana has been with me through all of this. It’s been so hard not to stress so I’ve been supporting her as well.

UCL Academy 
students from the left: Tommy McMeekin, Nathan Fahy and Andy Sllovinja. Picture: Polly HancockUCL Academy students from the left: Tommy McMeekin, Nathan Fahy and Andy Sllovinja. Picture: Polly Hancock

“I was literally doubting myself the whole of quarantine thinking ‘what are my teachers going to give me?’ But now I’m just so happy with my grades.”

READ MORE: GCSE results day 2020 live updates: The latest from schools across Camden, Haringey and Barnet

After notching four 9s between them among a host of other strong passes, the twins are off to Woodhouse College in Barnet – Rana to study biology, chemistry and psychology, and Maram to study biology, chemistry and physics.

Robin Street, UCL Academy’s co-principal, said: “If there’s a group of students that deserve to celebrate, it’s these guys after everything they’ve been through.

From the left, at Acland Burghley: Joseph Price, Gabriel Stubbs, headteacher Nicholas John and Marli England. Picture: Polly HancockFrom the left, at Acland Burghley: Joseph Price, Gabriel Stubbs, headteacher Nicholas John and Marli England. Picture: Polly Hancock

“These are kids who missed out on graduation, they missed out on parties, exams and moments in life.

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“So this is a proper memory where everyone’s opening results together and they’ve got a memory they deserve to merit the hard work they’ve put in over the years.”

At Acland Burghley, headteacher Nicholas John was similarly chuffed. His cohort of GCSE students were the first class he started out with at the school, which he said made him all the prouder.

Acland Burghley student Ro Dodgson who received straight 9s and an 8 in further maths. Picture: Polly HancockAcland Burghley student Ro Dodgson who received straight 9s and an 8 in further maths. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mr John said this year’s pupils were “unsung heroes” after “missing out on an important chunk of their lives” due to the coronavirus shutdown.

He backed the government’s eventual U-turn on grades but said the saga was “avoidable” and born of “laziness”.

Mr John said: “They didn’t do it in a way that engaged us. We all felt, as a profession, staggeringly unconsulted about the whole thing.”

Acland Burghley pupil Gabriel Stubbs called the U-turn a “mess”. He said: “Teachers are the ones that spend every day with us so I think they have the best understanding of our ability.”

UCL Academy student Sam Ali Nateghian who received straight 9s. Picture: Polly HancockUCL Academy student Sam Ali Nateghian who received straight 9s. Picture: Polly Hancock

Gabriel scored five 9s, three 8s and two 7s. As the school didn’t offer GCSE German, Gabriel decided to teach it to himself at home. Remarkably, he picked up a 9, the top mark. Unsurprisingly, he’s chosen to study German at Woodhouse College, alongside French and one of physics or geography.

Over at William Ellis, headteacher Sam White was “pleased” and “proud” of his students, he said, with a “huge sense of relief”.

Student Stirling Beatson said it was “nice to be back” inside the school gates, pick up his grades and see his classmates do “really well”.

After scoring seven 8s and one 6, Stirling is off to study maths, physics and art at LaSWAP.

On starting sixth form, he said: “I guess I haven’t done any work for a while so it may take a bit of time getting used to it again.”

READ MORE: GCSE results day 2020 live updates: The latest from schools across Camden, Haringey and Barnet


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