As the A-level and BTEC results yesterday came pouring in, figures from half the borough’s schools show strong gains in the proportion of A*-B grades and A*-C grades.
Meanwhile the figures collected by Southwark Council show that overall percentage of entries achieving a pass A*-E results has dipped slightly due to a drop in the D-E passes.
Commenting on yesterday’s results, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for children and schools said: “Southwark can be hugely proud of its young people today, as we welcome another set of truly inspirational A-level results.
“They show beyond a doubt that Southwark schools are a great place for young people to thrive and reach their potential. I want to wish all our school leavers well as they set off on a new chapter of their lives. With such great results I know you will go far!”
Ark Globe Academy’s head of sixth-form Sarah Donachy told the News her students had overcome “significant issues” ranging from their families struggling with housing to the stress of settling in Britain from abroad, and one pupil coming to terms with a terminally ill younger sibling.
“Despite all these difficulties,” she said, “our students have achieved excellent grades that allow them to go to university, become leaders and be the change they want to see in the world. They have done so with dignity, grace, resilience and hard work”.
Among the Globe Academy students to arrive bright and early for the life-changing day was Bermondsey girl Melissa Alabi, who achieved A*AA. She is on her way to the University of Leeds to study International Relations, with a particular focus on development and African politics. Melissa said she was “shocked” by her grades in Geography, Sociology, and English Literature.
“I thought I would pass, but I couldn’t believe it. My dad was screaming on the phone. He had still been asleep before I called. I had to really work for them. It was very hard,” she said.
Shahena Begum, who lives in the Aylesbury Estate, will break the mould by jumping on a graduate scheme with one of the world’s top consultancy firms, Deloitte.
“I will go into indirect-tax consulting,” said the beaming eighteen-year-old who opened her envelope to find an A in Economics, C and D in Maths and Biology.
“Last year I did work experience with them and they showed me this scheme. I thought, why not have a go?
“To get on the scheme I had to go a lot of other exams and go through loads of interviews. On the course I’ll be earning a qualification to become a chartered accountant.” Her back-up plan was to go to uni in Kent.
Hafizah Haider from Kipling Street in Bermondsey said she would be out celebrating with friends that night after securing a place at Warwick University to study Economics.
“I sacrificed so much looking back on it. It felt like a waste at the time but now it definitely feels worth it. I’ve made my Mum proud and Dad was over the moon,” Hafizah said.
Among the AS pupils receiving results yesterday morning, seventeen-year-old Abibat Sanni-Bashorun (pictured above) felt she did “pretty well”. She pulled off three Bs in Sociology, History and English Literature and is considering applying for a Law degree.
East Dulwich lad Alex Nicholson scored As in his Maths and Triple Science AS results, and has his sights set on a degree in biological research.
Renata Ferreira managed a herculean effort of passing five AS-levels, with A grades in History, French, Portuguese, Psychology and a C in Maths. She is now weighing up the idea of applying to Oxford or Cambridge.