Newham’s 18 year olds have defied the odds, turning in a set of results that outstrip 2019 grades.
The class of ‘23, who missed the full GCSE exam experience due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, 2021 and 2022, look to have more made up for time and lost in-person education with an impressive set of results.
This year’s A Level students experienced the first return to full live unassisted exams since the pandemic.
Visiting St Bonaventure’s Sixth Form in Forest Gate Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said: “This year’s group has arguably been hardest hit by the effects of the COVID-19 emergency. They missed vital face-to-face education during the pandemic, and their entire GCSE experience was cancelled as exams where replaced by teacher assessment.
“The government are running with a narrative that it’s all back to normal – but the last four years of education has been anything but that for this year group – and yet today I have been truly inspired by their achievements, resilience and character. Their success is well deserved and is a testament to the brilliant work of our fantastic family of Newham schools, the teachers, the staff and of course all the parents and carers who have been on this journey with our young people.”
Today’s results are provisional and a fuller picture will emerge as results are verified. But the signs are promising that yet again Newham Schools punching well above the national average for sixth form exam results.
All schools are so far reporting improvements on 2019 grades, including Brampton Manor Academy, East Ham where 90 pupils achieved the highest possible marks, obtaining 3 or more A* grades.
Newham Collegiate Sixth recorded its best sixth form results ever with 97 per cent pass rate in A*-B, where 188 students landed at least 3 A*-A grades in their chosen subjects.
But according to the former winner and judge of BBC TV’s “The Apprentice” Tim Campbell – it’s about more than just grades. Tim, who was a pupil at St Bonaventure’s, and is now chair of Governors said: “Life and learning are at the heart of what we do at St Bonaventure’s – these young people will be defined by the decisions they make – and those decisions will define their destinations regardless of grades. The staff here are dedicated to teaching the young people to make wise decisions and take the right direction in life, whatever their grades.”
Newham Cabinet member for Education, Councillor Josh Garfield said: “These outstanding results are a testament to the dedication of our students, the hard work of our inclusive schools, and the tireless efforts of our entire school community. In one of England’s most disadvantaged boroughs, we’re proud to offer exceptional opportunities for children. Together, we’re breaking down the barriers to opportunity and our young people are achieving great success.”
With central government warning that grades may be depressed across the board as marking guidelines returned to pre-pandemic standard two St Bon’s pupils defied the gloomy predictions.
Hamariah Patel and Newailah Makardam were both expecting to pass – but neither expected the grades they achieved, with Hamariah smashing two A*s and an A, while Newailah notched up two As and a C.
Both women were interviewed on BBC Radio London’s Salma El-Wardany breakfast show and explained their future plans.
For Hamariah the unexpected results meant a morning of dealing with “clearing” to try to achieve her dream University placement at Kings College London to study Politics and International Relations. During the live interview Salma asked the 18-year-old, who had been expecting Cs, if she would consider becoming a future Prime Minister. She said “We’ll see, it’s a big job with a lot of responsibilities so with experience who knows, maybe….”
“Well I’d vote for you right now Hamariah!” Salma responded.
Meanwhile Newailha said; “I am absolutely thrilled with my results. It’s a testament to the hard work I put into my studies and the incredible support from my teachers. I am grateful for the education I received at St Bonaventure’s, which has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to pursue my dreams and study primary education as my undergraduate degree at the University of East London.”
Reacting to today’s results St Bonaventure’s Headteacher Chris McCormack was full of praise for the dedication demonstrated by the students in their exams, commenting: “Congratulations to our students on achieving a fantastic set of results. I am delighted that all of their hard work and the dedication and support of their teachers have come to fruition. They have been such a lovely group who have contributed in such a positive way to our school community. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they embark on the next stage of their lives.”