Pupils across the Harrow area have been praised for their hard work over the last year as students received their GCSE results.
The number of pupils in England scoring a clean sweep of the highest grade in their GCSEs this summer has increased by more than a third in a year, with more girls achieving straight top grades than boys.
Overall the proportion of GCSE entries awarded the top grades has surged to a record high after exams were cancelled due to Covid-19.
Traditional A*-G grades have been scrapped in England and replaced with a 9-1 system amid reforms, with 9 the highest. Grade 4 is broadly equivalent to a C grade, and a 7 broadly equivalent to an A.
Bentley Wood High School says there was an “exceptional return” on the efforts of students and staff throughout the studies.
Some key stars include Alison Chang who achieved 11 GSCEs at grade 9, Zahra Rizvi who was awarded 9 GCSEs at grade 9 and Isma Mirza who achieved 10 GCSEs at grade 9.
Headteacher, Dr Janice Howkins, said, “We are very pleased that our students have once again received the excellent grades they deserve, recognising their hard work and resilience. I wish them every success as they continue onto the next step of their journey.”
At John Lyon, six of the 100 pupils received straight 9 grades – the equivalent of an A* – and a further eight received no grade no lower than an 8.
In general, the school says it has achieved an extremely high number of the top 9 and 8 grades.
Sammy Smith, who achieved ten 9 grades, said: “It feels so surreal, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me, it’s amazing. Over the next few hours and days I think it will sink in and I’ll think ‘wow I got straight 9s’. There’s been a lot of hard work and hours, and some sleepless nights but if you put the work in you’ll get good results.”
Varun Valentine, who spoke at the inaugural TEDxJohnLyonSchool, received ten 9 grades including one in Music, a department in which he spends much of his time performing in.
Avanti House School in Stanmore says that students achieved 58 per cent of grades 9 to 7, which is well above the national average.
Simon Arnell, headteacher at the school, said: “As Principal I am so proud of the achievements of all students in Year 11 at Avanti House Secondary School. They have gained the GCSE grades that they richly deserve, as they have continually displayed our values, principles and ethos and met all of the challenges that the last two years have presented. I would also like to thank the work and determination of all of the staff at Avanti House for their hard work and support of the students both academically and pastorally. The future of all of our students looks bright and I know that they will make the world a better place.”
At Whitmore High School, a record 103 students gained five or more grade 9-7s. Head of year Mr Imoru, said “I am so very proud to see that all of the hard work and sacrifice that has been put in over the last 5 years has produced such marvellous results. We are looking forward to welcoming the students back to our Sixth Form and hope the nexttwo years will be free of disruptions.”
Anya Gandhi, who had nine grade 9s and Amyra Katyal with ten grade 9s, added: “Despite the chaos caused by the pandemic, our teachers continued to support us to exceed our expectations. We are thrilled with our grades.”
Louise Voden, the headteacher at Nower High School in Pinner, said: “The success of young people requires a community effort, and we feel very fortunate that everyone in our school community is totally invested in ensuring the success and achievements of our young people.
“We all understand what a difficult year this has been and along with the students, were disappointed that the opportunity to demonstrate their talent in actual exams was curtailed.
“But make no mistake; the grades that they have received are a reflection of the hard work, skill and academic ability that they have demonstrated throughout their time studying for GCSEs and are well deserved.
“Each and every student should be proud of what they have achieved and more importantly, of the resilience that they have demonstrated in maintaining focus and optimism for the future during these extremely challenging times.”