SUCCESS: Students from Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College (TIGHS) in Blackburn celebrate their A Level results on Tuesday
STUDENTS expressed their happiness and relief as their A-levels results were revealed on Tuesday (10), following a second year of replacement grades after cancelled exams due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Grades have been decided by teachers’ estimates – rather than exams – after almost 40 per cent of students taking the main school-leaving exams had their results lowered by a mathematical model last year.
The government later reversed its decision over the grading system.
The number of As and A*s awarded have increased to 44.8 per cent from 38.5 per cent last year, data showed.
At Alperton Community School in north London, student Disha Kirticumar achieved three A* in maths, chemistry, and biology. The 18-year-old admitted she was anxious to receive her results after the controversy over replacement results last year.
“I was a little nervous that that could be something that was repeated this year,” she told Eastern Eye. “But because the strategy was very different to last year, and they were going with what the teacher said, it meant I wasn’t as nervous as what I would have been.”
In light of her grades, Kirticumar is now set to study dentistry at King’s College London in September.
“I’m really excited, but I hope that I’m able to experience university in the way that I imagined, and I hope that restrictions and such ease so I’m able to do that.”
Fellow Alperton pupil Megan Walmsley received three A grades in philosophy ethics, history, and psychology. The 18-year-old will be attending Edinburgh University to study ancient history and Latin in the new term.
“I wasn’t expecting (such high grades),” she told Eastern Eye. “There was a lot of uncertainty with the exams that we did, because we were made to do lots of exams over two or three months and it was just a lot of pressure and a lot of revision, and I wasn’t certain how we were doing because we got no feedback.”
Also in north London, Queen Elizabeth’s School (QE) in Barnet saw 39 of their pupils confirm offers at Oxbridge universities. Twenty-six students have won places to read medicine, the school confirmed. This year is the 16th consecutive one in which the proportion of A*–B grades achieved by QE pupils has exceeded 95 per cent.
Headmaster Neil Enright said: “The boys’ hard work and resolve during the pandemic are well demonstrated by these deserved grades, and today gives us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate their efforts and their excellence.”
At New College Bradford, Aleesha Zahoor received three A grades for sociology, chemistry, and biology.
The 17-year-old admitted she was apprehensive about her final scores, as her sister had been downgraded the previous year when the government initially introduced replacement results. “But it’s all worked out, so I’m very happy,” she told Eastern Eye.
In Blackburn with Darwen, students from the Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio also celebrated their results.
Naseem Zaman Akhtar achieved A*, Merit and grade B. Akhtar is now to set to study law with criminology at Salford University. Stating she was excited about the future, Akhtar said: “I have been to so many schools, five in the last few years and this is the best school by far. I have enjoyed everything about it, every single moment.”
Fellow Darwen Aldridge pupil Rabail Shahzadi specialised in child development, and double health and social care and achieved strong passes in all courses. She will study early years child development at Blackburn University Centre. Shahzadi thanked her teachers for helping her throughout her time at the sixth form.
“I came from another country, and they really helped me through my work and to make progress,” she said. “They always offered me extra help and that has given me so much confidence.”
Principal Colin Grand added: “I would like to congratulate all of our Year 13 students on their amazing levels of professionalism and resilience this year. It has been a pleasure to work with every student.”
Also in Blackburn, the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College (TIGHS) applauded students for their efforts as 97 per cent achieved at least three A Levels at A*-B grade. 60 per cent completed three subjects at A* or A grade.
Aaliyah Gorji received A* in psychology, A in biology and A in chemistry and will now take up a place at the University of Lancaster to study medicine. Praising her loved ones for their support, Gorji said: “I owe all of my success to the prayers of my family, friends and teachers. I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
In response to the release of A-Level results, education secretary, Gavin Williamson, congratulated students for their work in an “extraordinary and challenging year”. He said: “We should all celebrate their resilience and ability to overcome adversity.”