Hammersmith Academy students, along with their national counterparts, received A-Level, AS Level and BTEC results in unprecedented circumstances. For the first time, students have been awarded grades without sitting summer examinations.
A-Level Standout Successes
Mohamed Mohamed was the Academy’s top achiever scoring A*A*A*A*, and secures a place at Imperial to study Physics. He said, “I am over the moon that I have achieved the university that I have aimed for. The Academy has been brilliant in explaining the process throughout the lockdown period and have been supporting me today as I work my way through. I am still excited about starting uni and I need to look at the positives.”
Nedal Harris scored an impressive A*A*AA, and goes on to study Architecture at Westminster. “It was disappointing we couldn’t sit our exams, it would have been more of an achievement to get the results that way. The teachers have been amazing and really helped me put together a portfolio for my applications. I’m happy with the grades I have achieved, they were the grades I was expecting. I am excited about university, but I have been told that I will be starting my course earlier than usual and there will be no fresher’s week, which is a shame. I am looking forward to studying the subject I enjoy and meeting new people.”
Zarlasht Ashoorzada attained A*AB and secured her place to study Dentistry at Queen Mary said, “I was upset about the exams being cancelled and not being able to show off the hard work that I put in over the two years. Dentistry is something I have wanted to do for a long time and I am so happy to get in. No one knew this was going to happen and the Academy has done all it can to support us through it and to make sure we were not disadvantaged. I want to thank the Sixth Form Team for helping me with my application and the support throughout, it has made such a difference. I am nervous about starting university in September and what it will be like. There is some uncertainty about things like getting certain injections before I can start but the GP services cannot provide these at the moment.”
Kayleigh Corbin achieved A*AB and will go to Leeds to study English Literature and Theatre. She commented, “It has been very tense waiting for the results and the government making changes at the last minute has not helped. In my case I think the system has been fair and the grades I have been awarded are a fair reflection, although I think I could have achieved higher grades if I sat the exams, but the priority was to get into university. The Academy has been really supportive, emailing us and tweeting important information when school has been closed. I’m looking forward to university, it is normally a nervous time but it will be more challenging now, especially having to move away from home.”
Success through adversity
Hamza El-Bakkali, secured an apprenticeship with IBM which starts in October. He said, “I applied for the apprenticeship before the lockdown and had just passed the assessment before school ended in March. It was stressful as IBM did not know whether they would be able to run the scheme and it was very daunting as I had two university offers which I was going to turn down. The process started off strongly but after the interview it went quiet because of the lockdown. I was so relieved to hear from them this week and that I had been successful and the scheme is going ahead. I want to thank the Careers Team as they helped work on my CV and took me through the application process step by step. I have come a long way from the student whose behaviour was very bad and on the brink of exclusion a few times. The Academy has helped me turn myself around and be successful and I want to be able to return in the near future to help other students.”
Headteacher, Gary Kynaston, said “This year’s cohort of A-Level students has witnessed the biggest challenge to education in over 70 years. Not only have they had their learning disrupted but students will have lost a sense of a rite of passage of sitting their final exams and celebrating the success of two years of hard work.
Questions remain as to what the Academy’s final examination statistics will be given the Government’s last minute addition of a ‘triple lock’ guarantee which ensures students receive the highest possible score between either an awarded grade, a grade on appeal or a grade from an autumn exam. This will be clearer in the coming weeks.
Irrespective of the challenges, it is most pleasing to see so many of our students achieving the university places they have set their sights on, including the top Russell Group universities. From Pharmacy at UCL, Dentistry at Queen Mary to Architecture at Westminster, our students are able to get into the most competitive courses at the highest academic level. This is very much in keeping with the high standard and reputation of our Sixth Form and the upward trajectory of exam results year on year. Students can now focus on starting the next chapter in their education and look forward to their future careers.
I thank all the staff, in particular the Sixth Form Team, who have devoted their energy to supporting and guiding our young people through uncertain times, and to the parents who have worked so closely with us to ensure students have not been disadvantaged by covid-19 disruptions.”