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Exam stress ends in tears of joy on results day

Students across the borough set a course for higher education as they celebrate top A-level grades

17 August, 2018 — By Emily Finch, Samantha Booth

From left, Central Foundation’s Mohseen Hussain, Bencan Yalcin, Brendan Hajar, David Adewale, Mithursan Alagendran and Abigail Tshola

THERE were smiles and tears at schools and colleges across Islington yesterday as thousands of A-level students opened their results.

Dozens of students at City of London Academy Highbury Grove arrived early in the morning to collect their envelopes, many having already seen their results online.

Hal Crampin, 18, was accepted by Manchester University to study Geography after achieving AAB.

The teenager was inspired to work hard for his grades after not achieving as highly as he hoped in his GCSEs. He said: “I knew I could have done better but I did not put the work in. I’ve never worked so hard in my life to get these A-levels. I knew I could get As but I never imagined opening the envelope and seeing them.”

Sahar Seidl did not expect she would get into University of Cambridge and had been getting excited about her second choice, London School of Economics. But her A*AA results guaranteed her place at the top ranking university to study Human, Social, Political Sciences. She is the sixth form’s only student going to Cambridge.

Adam Hook, from City and Islington College, is set to study maths at Sussex University

“I thought I had completely failed my Biology exam,” the 18-year-old from King’s Cross said. “I’m really happy.”

Abi Crowther, 18, overcame personal problems which meant she had to miss some lessons, but achieved AAB. She will study psychology at Queen Mary University in east London.

Abi, from Highbury, said: “The teachers here were so supportive if I missed any lessons. I wanted to make myself and everyone else proud and I knew this was the way to do that.”

Hal Crampin from Highbury Grove, achieved AAB

Gabriel Cairns, 18, said it was “not the end of the world” he got CDD in his results. He will now spend the next four months training to sit exams for a pilot training course, for which you only need GCSEs.

This year’s students will have sat even more of the linear A-levels – which have less coursework and instead focus on exams at the end of two years of study.

Principal Aimee Lyall said the sixth form achieved a 98 per cent pass rate and 55 per cent of the grades were A* to B.

North Bridge House: Arpi Saruhanyan celebrating her A*AAs with Barney Thorpe (AAA) and Henry Gunning (BCC)

The school received an “inadequate” Ofsted rating in 2016 and has since made progress after becoming an academy. The sixth form provision was rated as “good”.

Ms Lyall said: “I would say the teachers have done a phenomenal job, these are courses that have needed to be structured over two years. There’s been new, more rigorous content.

“The students are resilient and committed.”

Lati Gutta, right, burst into tears after opening her results; fellow City and Islington student Ana Gegic, left, will now study psychology at Middlesex University 

The City and Islington College student Lati Gutta burst into tears after opening the envelope containing her results. She achieved an A in Philosophy, A* in Sociology and A* in Politics and is going to study Human, Social, and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

The 18-year-old told the Tribune: “I didn’t think I would do this well. I wasn’t expecting it, I really wasn’t.”

Her friend Ana Gegic was there to hug her and wish her congratulations as she opened her results envelope.

Highbury Grove student Sahar Seidl

“She was stressing all summer about her results. She wouldn’t stop talking about it on Snapchat,” said Ana. Snapchat is an image sharing application found on mobile phones. Ana didn’t want to reveal her results but said she was “pleased” to be going to Middlesex University to study Psychology.

Another pleased teen was Adam Hook, 18, who received an A in Maths, B in Geography, B in Computer Science and a B in Further Maths.

He said: “It gets me into the university that I wanted. It didn’t really help that two of my exams were leaked online one night before the test. It pushed up the grade boundaries.”
Adam is off to study at Sussex University.

Highbury Grove student Abi Crowther

Two friends pleased with their results were Carlotta Johnson, 18, and Fatima Dadabhoy, 18. Carlotta said: “The first round of exams were difficult but after a while you get used to them. My parents were very supportive.” Carlotta, who achieved A in Sociology and two Bs in English Literature and History is off to study English Literature at Queen Mary University.

Central Foundation Boys’ School, in Old Street, saw a 99 per cent pass rate, with 85 per cent of grades at A* to C, 63 per cent at A* to B and 44 per cent at A* to A.

Students will be going to top universities including Imperial College London, University of Manchester and St George’s Medical School.

Headteacher Jamie Brownhill said: “We are delighted with the students’ exam outcomes and the university and apprenticeship placements they have secured. These are the result of the hard work of the students and the support they have received from a hugely skilled and committed group of teachers.”

Highbury Grove student Gabriel Cairns

Students from private school North Bridge House Senior in Canonbury also received excellent results with a number of students being awarded a clean sweep of A*s or As for their hard work.

Arpi Saruhanyan is off to study Astrophysics at the University of Exeter after achieving an A* in Maths and As in Physics and Further Maths.

Jonathan Taylor, head of school, said: “These results, across a wide breadth of challenging subjects, are testimony to the commitment of both students and staff.

Highbury Grove principal Aimee Lyall: ‘The students are resilient’

“Whilst we are obviously delighted for the students holding a clutch of A grades, it is also a great source of pride that several students who had struggled with GCSEs elsewhere have been able to turn around their academic trajectory and are now embarking on university courses of their choice.”

A quarter of all A-level grades were A* or As at St Mary Magdalene Academy in Liverpool Road.

Natalia Grieve, Molly O’Brien and Isabel Billington from City & Islington 

Headteacher Vicky Linsley says: “Such a strong set of results mean that most students have been accepted by their first choice university this morning. These include the top London Universities of Imperial, UCL and Kings and other Russell Group Unis including Warwick, Manchester, Nottingham and QMUL.”

Clare Verga, executive princi­pal at City of Lon­don Academy Islington, said: “Many of our students are progre­ssing to higher edu­cation and will be the first in their fami­lies to do so.”

Students at the academy in Prebend Street achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, with almost half of all grades awarded A* to B.


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