Camden schools celebrate best set of GCSE results on record

GCSE pupils at Haverstock Scholl celebrate their results

Published: September 1, 2011

IN the aftermath of the London riots, some good news for Camden’s young people: the borough’s best set of GCSE results on record.

Excited groups of students huddled away from the rain outside Haverstock, Acland Burghley, William Ellis, Parliament Hill and South Camden Community School last Thursday morning, poring over the A4 brown envelopes they had been working towards for two years.

Some protected their results in their jackets, others protected themselves with their results.

Most had something to celebrate. The overall average of students gaining five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths, rose by 6 per cent this year – from 53 per cent to 59 per cent. Education chiefs expect this to be higher than the national average when the results are totalled nationwide.

At Haverstock, 16-year-old Michael Testa got five As and three Bs, despite only arriving in the country from Ethiopia 12 months ago.

He said: “It was difficult. There was a lot of work to do. I missed the first year of GCSEs so I had to do two years worth of work in one. I used to stay in school many hours after everyone else left. I lost a lot of time for fun.”

Michael said he was not surprised by his top grades, adding: “I worked for it – and you get what you work for.”

Haverstock School scored its best ever GCSE results with 50 per cent of Year 11 students achieving five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths, and 62 per cent achieving five or more A*-C overall, an increase of 13 per cent.

John Dowd, headteacher, said he was “delighted” with the year on year improvement in results, adding: “We have set ourselves challenging targets and worked hard collectively to achieve them.”

Bernie Lane, Haverstock’s former head of Year 11, who has taken the post of assistant headmaster at William Ellis, was singled out for special praise by Mr Dowd.

Acland Burghley also recorded its best ever GCSE results as 64 per cent achieved the five A* to C grades (including English and maths).

Burghley student Adam Castle, who garnered 12 A*s, also found time to produce a school magazine that won a Design Council national award, chair the School Parliament and initiate a judicial review.

Jo Armitage, headteacher, said: “These results are testament to the hard work, ambition and generous team spirit of all students and staff. Our Year 11 students have put themselves firmly on the path to successful futures and put the school on the way to ‘outstanding’.”

It was more historic results at South Camden Community School, where 49 per cent achieved the five or more A* to C pass grades.

Nadia Elimlahi, 16, said: “I was expecting so much worse. I was crying all the way here but it was all right in the end.”

Headteacher Rosemary Leeke congratulated “all of our students whose hard work has been rewarded in these well-deserved results, and to the staff whose dedication and commitment have played such a crucial role in these achievements”.

Councillor Larraine Revah, Camden’s cabinet member for children, schools and families, hailed the students’ “great results”, adding: “We all owe a massive thanks to our headteachers, teachers and school governors for the amazing job they do.

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