Image 1

Local students shine on GCSE results day despite exam and Covid disruption

Categoriesnews Children and young peoplenews

Image captionImage 1: Hurlingham Academy GCSE students Kani Maulud (left) and Hannah Ciftci (right)

Students in Hammersmith & Fulham have achieved an impressive set of results in their GCSEs and BTECs, despite the Covid disruption.

Teachers assessed grades for their students after exams were cancelled for a second year.

Exam regulators insist that robust checks have ensured the process has been fair, with evidence including coursework, tests and mock examinations all added to the mix.

Image 2
Image caption: Image 2: Hurlingham Academy GCSE students discuss their results

As well as GCSEs, vocational qualifications were also issued on Thursday, including for BTEC students.

The local results have impressed Cllr Larry Culhane, H&F Cabinet Member for Children & Education.

“This has been a tough time for our students and schools, but they have shown incredible resilience and determination over the past 18 months. Just getting to this stage is an incredible achievement,” he said.

“We should all be proud of our teenagers who have had to overcome extraordinary challenges through the pandemic. They really are the heart and soul of this borough. This includes our local students who successfully retook their exams this year giving hope to those who did not get the results they were hoping for this week.

“Our schools often go above and beyond what is expected of them but during this pandemic they have moved mountains to ensure our local students have the best possible chances in the future and we are eternally grateful to them for that.”

GCSE results are graded on a numerical system, with 9 being the highest and 1 the lowest, rather than the old A to E system. Grades 9, 8 and 7 correspond to the previous top grades of A* and A.

Image 3
Image caption: Image 3: Teja Pierre with her GCSE results sheet

Bright stars

There were top performers across the borough which included Fulham Cross Academy’s Milans Kleins who achieved 10 GCSEs in the top grades – the equivalent of A-A* - plus a Distinction* for BTEC Construction.

Fellow student Jeffrey Maili also gained 10 GCSEs in the top grades, while Andy Vo attained eight, and also won the accolade of the student who exceeded more target grades than any other in the year at the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) specialist school in Kingwood Road, Fulham.

Head of School Alan Jones said that the field of education had never known such a turbulent period as the past 18 months. “I have been astounded by the resilience, perseverance and endeavour of our Year 11 students,” he said.

“To emerge with the results they have done is a testament to their hard work and the support they have been given by the academy, both academically and pastorally.”

Meanwhile at Ark Burlington Danes Academy, high performers in this year’s GCSEs were Yaseen Ahmed with eight grade 9s and two 8s, Fardowsa Hersi who achieved eight grade 9s, and five 8s, and Sarah Aly who received eight grade 9s, a grade 8 and a grade 6.

Sarah Aly, aged 16, said: “I’m feeling really good. At first I found learning from home really hard as I wasn’t used to it, but it got easier and I learned a lot. I’m going to be coming back to Burlington Danes for Sixth Form and will study Maths, Chemistry and Biology.

“At university I’m hoping to do something like forensic chemistry or chemical engineering. It’s really inspiring hearing about where Burlington Danes Academy students go to university, such as the student who got an unconditional offer from Oxford. My dream is to go to Imperial College.”

Read more about the other schools in H&F

  • Ark Burlington Danes Academy

    Ark Burlington Danes Academy students celebrated top GCSE marks following another challenging academic year.

    With the continued disruption to their education, students could not take examinations in the usual way and instead received teacher-assessed grades.

    In order to support students throughout the national lockdowns and beyond, the school distributed Google Chromebooks to all students who needed them and ran a full timetable of live, online lessons.

    More widely, families were supported through the school foodbank, for which teachers and students raised over £17,000 and supported students pastorally, be it via regular pastoral check ins for all students whilst learning from home or specialist support from agencies such as Place2Be or Mind.

    Among Ark Burlington Danes Academy’s high performers in this year’s GCSEs were Yaseen Ahmed with eight grade 9s and two 8s, Fardowsa Hersi who achieved eight grade 9s, and five 8s, and Sarah Aly who received eight grade 9s, a grade 8 and a grade 6.

    Sarah Aly, aged 16, said: “I’m feeling really good. At first I found learning from home really hard as I wasn’t used to it, but it got easier and I learned a lot. I’m going to be coming back to Burlington Danes for Sixth Form and will study Maths, Chemistry and Biology.

    “At university I’m hoping to do something like forensic chemistry or chemical engineering. It’s really inspiring hearing about where Burlington Danes Academy students go to university, such as the student who got an unconditional offer from Oxford. My dream is to go to Imperial College.”

    Noah Jama, 16, will be returning to Burlington Danes for Sixth Form too, where he will be studying Chemistry, Biology and Maths, having achieved a fantastic set of results.

    “I’m feeling really pleased now I’ve got my results but was nervous before. The school really supported me during lockdown, they gave me a laptop and without that I wouldn’t have achieved the grades I got,” he said.

    “I was most inspired by a former student who got into MIT in America. My hope is to go on to study medicine at university.”

    Ark Burlington Danes Academy Principal Paul Bhatia said: “I am absolutely delighted with the achievements of our Year 11 students. These last two years have been incredibly challenging, yet our students have shown immense resilience and great ambition to secure an outstanding set of results. I would also like to thank our staff, who have ensured that our students have kept learning throughout the year, both at home and at school.

    “And I am so pleased that we will be welcoming record numbers of our students back into our sixth form, which is a testament to our excellent KS5 teaching and the outstanding destinations our sixth formers achieve. Seeing the smiles on our students' faces is a wonderful way to finish the year.”

  • Fulham Boys School

    With a remarkable sweep of 11 top-grade GCSEs, John Davidson is the toast of Fulham Boys School.

    Armed with his results, he will now go on to study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and French at A-level.

    The school’s third set of GCSE results show pupils continue to advance, with a third of students achieving at least one grade 9 pass, and 12 per cent of all the school’s GCSE entries achieving that top grade.

    In English, 84 per cent of students achieved at least a grade 4 pass, while three-quarters of pupils achieved grade 5 or higher in Maths. In all, 78 per cent of GCSEs achieved by Fulham Boys School students were grade 5 or above.

    Six of the school’s students awarded at least half of their GCSEs at grade 9 – the equivalent of A*, while of a dozen entries for languages, nine attained grade 9.

    Executive Head Alun Ebenezer said: “When it became clear that this year’s candidates would not be sitting public exams we set up a robust process to ensure that our centre-assessed grades showed a true reflection of the grades we would have expected from our students.

    “It was an exhausting experience for all concerned – teachers and boys – but rigorous systems mean we can report our results with confidence.”

    He praised the “solid record of achievement” of students; words reinforced by Head of School David Smith, who said: “I’m delighted GCSE grades continue to show year on year improvement.”

    He paid tribute to the students and “to our exceptional staff for moving mountains”.

  • Fulham Cross Academy

    Among the high-flyers at Fulham Cross Academy, Milans Kleins is celebrating after achieving 10 GCSEs in the top grades – the equivalent of A-A* - plus a Distinction* for BTec Construction.

    Fellow student Jeffrey Maili also gained 10 GCSEs in the top grades, while Andy Vo attained eight, and also won the accolade of the student who exceeded more target grades than any other in the year at the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) specialist school in Kingwood Road, Fulham.

    Image 4
    Image caption: Image 4: Fulham Cross Academy student James Kimani

    “Although we have worked through the pandemic, and multiple lockdowns, we learned a lot about our approach to teaching and learning from last year,” said Executive Principal Sally Brooks, paying tribute to the work of staff and students.

    “Building on our experiences, we were able to continue to deliver high-quality teaching and learning which has shone through in our students’ results.”

    Many of the academy’s successful GCSE students are continuing their education in the sixth form, with other notable achievers including Jack Barr and James Kimani, who were among a dozen students who exceeded their minimum expected grades in every subject.

    “I’m really happy. I tried really hard and I’d like to thank all of the teachers for their support through Covid,” said James.

    Head of School Alan Jones said that the field of education had never known such a turbulent period as the past 18 months. “I have been astounded by the resilience, perseverance and endeavour of our Year 11 students,” he said.

    “To emerge with the results they have done is a testament to their hard work and the support they have been given by the academy, both academically and pastorally.”

  • Fulham Cross Girls’ School

    There were ear-to-ear grins on the faces of Inas and Jora, the joint head girls at Fulham Cross Girls’ School, when they opened their GCSE results envelopes.

    Inas gained nine GCSEs in the top grades (the equivalent of A or A*), and will take up a place at Putney High School sixth form in September, while Jora’s seven top GCSEs, together with two grade 6 marks, represent a tremendous achievement as family circumstances abroad meant she missed a lot of school.

    Image 5
    Image caption: Image 5: Fulham Cross Girls head girl Inas with her mum

    “Fulham Cross teachers did an outstanding job in helping me achieve my full potential,” said a grateful Inas.

    “I am extremely happy and overwhelmed with my results, and am truly thankful for their support. With all challenges and difficulties I have faced, I was taught to believe in myself, and face adversity. I will always be grateful for what Fulham Cross Girls’ School has given me.”

    In addition to their studies, both girls also served the school admirably as head girls, fitting additional duties and responsibilities around their coursework.

    Denise Fox, who recently retired as Headteacher of the school after 36 years, described her students’ work as “absolutely phenomenal, yet again”.

    She congratulated the staff who have had to work hard to support the students through the pandemic, adding: “The girls have been incredibly resilient and hardworking and we are very proud of their results and their achievements.”

    Year 11 students at the school achieved strong grades despite multiple lockdowns, frequent lateral flow testing and the external pressures of living and learning in a year and a half of Covid.

    Several students achieved more than seven grade 9s while 27 per cent of students attained an average grade of 7 or above across all of their GCSEs.

    English and Maths were both in the top subjects, while 65 per cent of GCSE pupils at the school in Munster Road achieved an average of grade 5 and above – the government’s definition of a ‘strong pass’.

    “This year provided a difficult balance for schools between pushing students to achieve and recognising and supporting significant mental health challenges, feelings of being overwhelmed, stress and isolation,” said new Co-Headteacher Victoria Tully. “We chose to focus on making school a happy and supportive environment and I am delighted to say this has paid off with happier young people and outstanding results.”

  • Hammersmith Academy
    Image 6
    Image caption: Image 6: Hammersmith Academy students pictured with headteacher Gary Kynaston (centre)

    Hammersmith Academy students continued to raise the bar this year in their GCSE exam results.

    Headteacher, Gary Kynaston, was delighted with his pupils’ grades following a difficult two years during the pandemic.

    “This is a really impressive set of results from our Year 11 cohort. Our results have been consistently high over the last six years and the achievements of this cohort raises the bar further still,” he said.

    “We continue to exceed all national attainment measures including 70 per cent of all our GCSE students achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which provides students with a multitude of academic pathways for further study.

    “This is all the more notable given students have had, in effect, two consecutive years with periods of disrupted classroom time. They have proven to be resilient and adaptable learners with a real desire to succeed. We are pleased that we have been able to support students and their families with our Digital Equality Initiative which provided every student with a personal Chromebook, ensuring no student missed out on online lessons and digital resources.”

    The school’s standout pupils included Ermir Bela who achieved a spectacular nine grade 9s.

    Sahra Abdi followed closely behind with an impressive right grade 9s and a grade 8 as she looks to eventually study medicine at university.

    She said: “I’m really happy and a bit shocked! My parents are really proud. They knew how hard I worked for these results. The support from the Academy has been fantastic. The teachers were really supportive throughout the whole process.

    “I am already looking forward to studying Biology and Chemistry in the Academy’s Sixth Form and eventually medicine at university. I would like to give a huge thanks to Mr Montero and Ms Moore, they have been so supportive and helped me during this time.”

    Ruby Foley was over the moon with her grades too following the difficult year. She achieved eight grade 9s and a grade 8.

    “I feel really good! My mum is so proud and relieved after such a tough year for both students and teachers so to get these results is just fantastic,” added Ruby.

    “My next step is A-Levels so I am over the moon to be going on to that. I have had great support from the Academy especially given the circumstances. I am extremely grateful to my Head of Year Ms Whittaker and to Mr McLaughlin and Ms Simonovski, for their passion and keeping me positive.”

    Image 7
    Image caption: Image 7: Hammersmith Academy students celebrating their GCSE results

    While Alaa Elmi secured seven grade 9s and two grade 8s continuing her family’s high achieving record this week with both her elder twin sisters going on to study medicine at university.

    She added: “When I received my results I was somewhat shocked but really satisfied. My family are super happy and very proud of me. The support from Hammersmith Academy has been amazing, any bump in the road has been smoothed out and I would like to thank everyone. If there was one less person on my journey at the Academy I don’t think I would have achieved these grades. I am going on to study Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Spanish and I wish to go on to university.”

    Salvatore Sorrentino secured eight grade 9s and a grade 8 while Shuaib Ali attained seven grade 9s and two grade 8s.

    Erica Kemp was awarded seven grade 9s and two grade 8s. She explained: “I was really happy when I got my results and my parents are very proud. The support from Hammersmith Academy has been great I am now going on to study Chemistry, Maths and Geography and I’m very excited for the next step.”

    Other top achievers include Harsha Mehra with seven grade 9s, a grade 8 and a grade 7, Kamal Ferchiche with six grade 9s, a grade 8, a grade 7 and a grade 6 and Safwan Uddin with five grade 9s, two grade 8s and two grade 7s.

    Headteacher Gary Kynaston continued: “Students should be very proud of their achievements regardless of them not being able to sit the traditional national summer exams. They have had to demonstrate their ability through a rigorous assessment process including tests and assessed pieces of work over a large part of their courses.

    “Many of our Year 11 students will start the next chapter of their studies in our Sixth Form and we look forward to them returning in September and progressing towards university and future careers.

    “I thank the teachers and staff who have worked with such dedication in supporting our students and ensuring they make the progress that they deserve, and to the parents who have worked closely with us every step of the way.”

  • Hurlingham Academy

    Hats off to Hannah Ciftci, who gained six of the top grade 9 marks at GCSE, together with a grade 8 and three grade 7s – the equivalent of 10 A or A* ratings – at Hurlingham Academy.

    Image 8
    Image caption: Image 8: Ahlam Duala

    It has been another bumper year for the school in Peterborough Road, Fulham, with Executive Principal Leon Wilson saying how proud he was of his students, overcoming the obstacles and disruption of 18 months of the pandemic.

    “I want to congratulate all our students who are celebrating their GCSE grades today,” he said. “They can each feel immense pride in what they have achieved, knowing that their hard work has been worthwhile and that they can move on successfully to the next chapter of their lives.”

    Students sat moderated examinations and completed a mix of coursework to attain their teacher-assessed grades, before joining staff who had gathered at the school on Thursday for the envelope opening.

    Other individual success stories included Teja Pierre, who gained five grade 9s, three grade 8s and one grade 7, and Jaxon Davis, awarded four grade 9s, four grade 8s and two grade 7s.

    Elena Vasilyeva was delighted to achieve four grade 9s, four grade 8s and one grade 7, while Theo Prade also attained four grade 9s, two grade 8s and three grade 7s.

    Close behind with three grade 9 GSCEs each were Kani Maulud (who also scored five grade 8s and two grade 7s) and Erika Duskinova, whose trio of top marks was backed up by five grade 8s and one grade 7.

    Image 9
    Image caption: Image 9: Erika Duskinova

    Many of the Hurlingham Academy GCSE students are now going on to do A-levels.

    “We are extremely proud of the ways in which our students have adapted to the challenges of home and blended learning, and maintained such focus and determination in their studies over what was a particularly challenging 18 months,” added Mr Wilson.

    “Their resilience, determination and ambition has been remarkable despite the uncertainty and disruption that Covid-19 has caused.”

  • Lady Margaret School

    The GCSE achievements of Lady Margaret were described as “remarkable and excellent” by the headteacher after the Parsons Green school posted a series of high grades for its Year 11 students.

    In English Language, 91 per cent of girls attained grade 5 or higher – the definition of strong passes. In English Literature, it was 93 per cent and in Maths it was 79 per cent.

    Just under 70 per cent of girls gained the English Baccalaureate, with five GCSEs with a minimum of grade 4 in English, Maths and three other subjects.

    Half of the girls’ total grades were in the old equivalent of A or A*.

    “These are excellent results and we are so proud of all girls in Year 11,” said headteacher Elisabeth Stevenson, adding that results were based on centre assessed grades submitted by the school to the examination boards in June.

    “To calculate the grades, staff worked very hard to ensure they were based on a comprehensive range of data and submitted work,” she said.

    Grades were moderated internally before being sent to the boards for further quality checks.

    “Our Year 11 students have shown remarkable perseverance and positivity over the last two years,” said the head. “They are to be commended for their commitment to their studies and for the ways in which they have supported each other through difficult times.

    “These results have been calculated by staff who know them, and who have taught them well. Our thorough and robust process for calculating and checking these grades gives them integrity.”

    Many of the students will be returning in September to continue their studies at A-level.

  • Westside School

    Westside pupils made head teacher Patricia Hanley proud once again this year with their GCSE exam results.

    “We are delighted that our students have continued to achieve to their full potential in the GCSE examinations this year,” said the Westside School head teacher.

    “As an Alternative Provision, it is important that students at Westside are given the same opportunities to achieve as their peers in mainstream settings. This year the tradition continues with our students gaining the qualifications that they need to move on to the next stage of their education, training or employment.

    “As always, thanks must go to the staff at Westside who supported the students throughout the challenges of the past 18 months; huge congratulations to the students themselves who worked exceptionally hard this year to ensure that they could provide the evidence required to justify their grades. They can be proud of their well-earned achievements, as am I.”

Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.