Southwark schools were bracing themselves on GCSE results day as they feared changes to how exams were marked would bring pupils’ marks down.
In the midst of an overhaul to the whole system, the borough’s results actually went up, with 68 percent of students achieving A* to C grades – up five percent on last year.
Although some individual students were disappointed not to get the marks they were predicted because of the shake-up, overall the borough performed on a par with the national average of 68.8 percent scoring A* to C grades.
Cllr Victoria Mills, Southwark’s cabinet member for children and schools said: “Congratulations to all this year’s GCSE students on their results.
“Southwark’s results have been improving year on year and these fantastic results are a testament to the hard work of our schools, teachers and pupils. We will continue to work with them to improve results for more young people in 2016 and move another step closer to reaching our target of 70 percent of pupils at all schools achieving five good GCSEs.”
“For the first time our young people will continue on in compulsory education over the next two years, whether they choose to take A levels, vocational courses or an on the job apprenticeship. This year’s results confirm that Southwark is a great place for all young people to plan for their futures and reach their full potential.”
Kingsdale hoping to come top of the class
The deputy head boy at Kingsdale School is seeing stars after opening his GCSE results, which may put the Dulwich secondary at the top of the class in the whole country.
Jacob Lundie Fallon was awarded an incredible fourteen A*s and one A – though he is hoping to make it a clean sweep.
His grade A paper was less than one mark off an A* so he is requesting a remark, which could put him alongside last year’s brainiest boffin – Chloe Wong.
Also a Kingsdale pupil, Chloe bagged fifteen A*s and an A, making her the highest achieving student in the country, according to head teacher, Steve Morrison.
High-flyer Louise Guillaume is also having her single A grade remarked as she was a fraction of a mark off accruing thirteen A*s.
Mr Morrison described this year’s results as “absolutely phenomenal”. “We are most pleased with the depth and breadth of our performance,” said Mr Morrison of the 78 percent of students achieving five or more A* to C grades.
Camberwell students both delighted and devastated in midst of GCSE overhaul
Students were jumping for joy as they opened the brown envelope containing their GCSE results at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Camberwell.
But for a handful effected by the national change to grade marking boundaries, they were “devastated,” according to headteacher Serge Cefai.
Despite “outstanding” results in most subject areas, a change to the way English and Maths are marked meant some students were awarded poorer grades than they were expecting.
“To raise the grade boundaries without telling schools is not fair on the children,” said Mr Cefai. “I’m delighted with the overall results but I was expecting more,” he said of the school’s 75 percent of students achieving at least five A* to Cs including English and Maths.
Mr Cefai has been at the helm for more than twenty years and believes people from his generation need to “stop harking back to a time when they think it was more difficult.
“Everyone who passes in this day and age deserves a pat on the back, along with the teachers,” he said.
Carolina Lopes was hoping for an A in English, but was awarded a B. “I was hoping English would be higher because I tried really hard. If I could go back in time I would try even harder,” said the aspiring Graphic Designer who also achieved five A*s 2As and another B.
Mark Siraut got three A*s, five As and a C but said he felt disappointed after receiving an A in history when he has previously always achieved A*s.
“I’m not happy with the boundaries. I appreciate they have to change sometimes but this has been ridiculous,” he said.
John Vu said he studied three to four hours every day outside of school to get his six A*s and four As so he can achieve his dream of being a heart surgeon.
“I was trying to aim for the best. It’s good training now to work hard. I think my family are going to be really happy,” he said.
Best ever GCSE results for City of London Academy
Following on from its record-breaking A Level results , Bermondsey’s City of London Academy repeated the trick with its best ever GCSE haul.
Brainbox Nadia Amani received an incredible eleven A or A* grades – but her achievement had still not quite sunk in yet when the News spoke to her at the Lynton Road school.
She said: “I did alright. I’m happy to get it over with but it just feels really weird! I haven’t really sat down and thought about it yet. I was a bit scared and felt really sick.”
The student, who plans to remain at CoLa to study English, maths, sociology and biology for A Levels, couldn’t even relax for the rest of the day as she had to rush off to work a shift as a waitress.
Conner Gardiner-Lake also picked up a raft of A and B results, something that surprised him.
He said: “I was expecting to do well in maths but beyond that I wasn’t expecting to do well. I wasn’t fussed about a lot of subjects and hadn’t revised as much for them, so I’m pleased to still get As in them.
“I was really nervous about maths because that was the one that I’m good at and everyone expected me to do well in. I was getting more and more nervous the closer I got to school. I’m just relieved.”
Principal Richard Bannister said the results, which were 12 percent better than last year, were a reflection of the hard work of teacher and staff.
He said: “We are delighted that the GCSE results have improved this year and indeed are our best results ever, as it reflects all the effort put in by our staff as well as the capability of our students. Our aim is to continue boosting the results year on year to provide our students with a clear path to further education and a bright future.”
Twins bag 24 A*s between them at Charter School
Twin sisters Anja and Eve Wylie secured 26 GCSEs between them – an astounding 24 of which were A* grades.
The students led the field in the Charter School in Dulwich, although they had competition from Ruby Hamilton, Oisin Challen Flynn and Jonah Gimbly Larrington, who all received thirteen A or A* grades.
Another highlight was Paul Kalambayi, who was described by principal Christian Hick as the school’s “most improved student.” He was relying on good grades to ensure that he could pursue his dream of becoming a footballer.
Mr Hick said: “Just a few months ago Paul was not expected to gain GCSE’s in English or Maths. He put in an incredible amount of effort and achieved nine GCSE’s including English and Maths at grades A* to C and can now go on to his full time football apprenticeship at AFC Wimbledon with excellent academic results.”
He added: “These are outstanding results, our best ever. Pupils flourish here regardless of their starting points or circumstances, and are encouraged to enjoy their learning. All our pupils have worked hard and deserve to celebrate today”.
Walworth Academy students aim high after strong results
Students at Ark’s Walworth Academy are aiming high after they achieved sets of strong GCSE results last week.
Following in his nurse grandma’s footsteps, Steeve Senyo wants to study medicine at Cambridge. “I didn’t realise I could achieve so much until I started to work hard,” said Steeve of the four As and four Bs he received. “I feel really proud,” he said.
Nejet Fikret is hoping his grades will secure him a brighter future than the life his Cypriot parents had growing up in poor farming families when they were not able to finish secondary school. “It really limited their prospects later on,” said Nejat, who achieved an A, seven Bs and a C in his GCSEs.
“Only three members of my family have gone to university and only one of them did what he really wanted to do. I want to change that,” he added.
Lilly Lu-zheng wants to study maths at a top university after bagging two A*s, two As and five Bs at GCSE. “I really like working with numbers, because they’re so straightforward. I’m aiming for Russell Group of universities because they’ve got such good reputations for maths, so my first choice is Warwick or Imperial College London,” she said.
Yvonne Powell, Principal at Walworth Academy, said the results achieved by students at Walworth Academy, including 48 percent of students achieving at least five A* to C grades, were a “testament to the hard work, high expectations and determination of all our students and staff.
“What our results show is the absolutely stunning progress that students make here between joining in year 7 and taking their exams,” she said.
From not a word of English to A*s
When Mercedes Musincki came to England four years ago from Hungary, she did not speak a word of English.
After a nervous wait to open her GCSE results last week she was “expecting the worst” but achieved an impressive three A*s, two As, a B and a C as well as a a Btec Distinction.
“I’m most proud of my A* in English Literature,” said Mercedes, a student at Ark’s Globe Academy.
Zareen Roy-McCauley was so delighted with her three A*s and five As that she just started screaming when she told her mum the news over the phone.
“I feel really good and relieved. I was shaking when I got my results. It was scary. I was holding the envelope for about fifteen minutes. It was like holding fire! I rang my mum first. She wasn’t surprised and obviously I was screaming!”
She is now going to stay on at Globe Sixth Form and hopes to study Anthropology at University.
Top student Alex Nicholson said he felt all his hard work had paid off when he found out he had been awarded three A*s, six As and two Cs and is now aiming to go to Cambridge University before starting a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
“My grades have made all the hard work with it – all the extra work with the teachers preparing for exams, all the late nights revising, it was worth it,” he said.
With 51 percent of students at Ark Globe achieveing at least five A* to C grades, Principal, Matt Jones, said: “It’s a joy to see so many students achieve the grades they’ve been working so hard for – grades that will stand them in good stead for their future careers or university studies.
“We’d like to congratulate each and every one of our students on their results and thank parents for their fantastic support.”
Star student makes head start on his A-levels at St Thomas the Apostle College
A young man who achieved a whopping eleven A*s for his GCSEs is already half way through his Maths A-level a year early.
Emanuele Guidi, managed to also get four As at St Thomas the Apolstle College while prematurely starting his further education.
Deputy Head Boy, Alex Dubey, said his nine A*s and two As were the “first step on my way to Cambridge,” adding “the hard work, dedication and sacrifices were all worth the effort.”
Head boy, Christopher Ibe, said: “I will never regret all the hours I spent studying, these results are worth all the time spent at my desk”, after achieving six A*s, three As and one B.
This year is the first year STAC students will have the option of staying on at the new sixth form. “This is an incredibly exciting year for St Thomas the Apostle College,” said Eamon Connolly, Head Teacher.
“We are enormously proud of our students and everything they have achieved.”
St Michael’s star student stunned by top results
A high-flying St Michael’s Catholic College student who received ten A*s and two As said she “just didn’t expect” to be the school’s top achiever.
Eleni Christofi said: “I was so scared of coming in, walking in this morning nearly killed me! The majority of the last year was spent revising, so I’m just relieved for the most part. I just didn’t expect it.”
Angelo Joshua Ama was also left stunned after receiving a haul of As and Bs.
He said: “I am really, really happy right now. I expected a few Bs but I didn’t expect only two Bs and lots of As. I can’t even feel my hands, they’re shaking – I’m very shocked!”
Principal Grainne Grabowski said she “couldn’t be more delighted” with her student’s results.
New school makes strong start
After opening its doors in 2009, Harris Boy’s Academy East Dulwich is only in its second year of GCSE results.
With 64 percent of the Academy’s students achieving five or more A*to C grades including English and maths, Principal Chris Everitt said his aim was that all students could achieve “regardless of their starting point.”
Star students Amir, Dre, Samuel and Shah bagged eight A*s and 24 As between them, which Mr Everitt said was “a testament to the very hard work of our boys as well as the dedication and support of their teachers.”
Harris Academy Peckham reported 50 percent of students achieving five or more A* to Cs including English and maths.
Best ever results for Harris Girl’s East Dulwich
Students and staff at Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich are celebrating their best ever GCSE results this year.
Overall, 70 percent of students achieved five or more A*to C grades including English and Maths, fourteen percent up on last year’s results.
Pupils excelled in Maths and the Sciences with physics, chemistry and biology results showing 100 percent of entries achieved A* to C grades.
Star students included Anna Boghurst, who achieved ten A*s and an A, and Amtul Bari Addo, who got eight A*s, four As and a B.
Jane Fletcher, Principal of Harris Girls’ Academy, said:“Congratulations to all students and staff on a fantastic set of results.
“I would like to thank students, staff, parents and our community who all contribute to making this an excellent school and deserve to share in the success of our best ever results.”
James Allen’s Girls’ School reports “outstanding” results in head’s final year
Girls at James Allen’s Girls’ School in Dulwich achieved “outstanding” results in their GCSEs this year with 93 percent of grades awarded being an A* or an A.
Thirteen students gained eleven A*s each and a further seventeen students got ten A*s each.
Head teacher, Mrs Marion Gibbs CBE, who is retiring later this month, said: “Nothing is more pleasing than seeing how engaged these girls have been with their learning whilst still playing a full part in wider school life. They have been actively involved in music, art, drama, sports, DofE, charity fundraising and community action.
“Together with the support of their dedicated specialist teachers, they have worked very hard to achieve these excellent results and we are very proud of them.”
More than 90 percent of Alleyn’s students walk away with As
Over half of all Alleyn’s School students received all A or A* grades – a record-breaking achievement for the Dulwich school.
In fact, 90% of all GCSE grades achieved by students were at least As, the school’s best ever GCSE haul.
Principal Dr Gary Savage said: “Everyone here knows that statistics are less important than the individual stories of pupils who have worked so hard, enjoyed their learning and prepared for important examinations to such great effect.”
Read about Southwark’s A-level results this year here