Results day relief for GCSE students
Schools across Camden held 'wellbeing' sessions to help students through stressful new exams
31 August, 2018 — By Helen Chapman
Joy for Paul Niga and Muminoor Rahman at Haverstock School
THERE were tears and cheers as hundreds of teenagers across the borough ripped open envelopes on Thursday to reveal their GCSE results. Several schools had provided extra wellbeing sessions this year to support students through the new exam system, where some results are now scored with numbers from 9 to 1.
The new system, which is being phased in through to 2020, have been questioned by critics who say they are a strain on teenagers’ mental health. Pupils at Haverstock School, in Chalk Farm – where the New Journal watched students open their results slips on the big day – nevertheless performed well.
Among those celebrating was Derome Robinson, who wants to work in finance when he leaves sixth-form, who is off to Woodhouse College to study maths, economics and psychology. He achieved three 9s, three 8s, one 7 and two A*s. He said: “I worked hard but I was surprised. I got a 9 in English literature and I was predicted a 6. I feel like I have overachieved.”
Londres Bennisan, who achieved 6s and 7s in her GCSEs, wants to study drama and English at A-level. She said: “I am so relieved. I have been stressing about this day for so long.”
Hannah Elsawy, Rania Sameralul, Nawaal Ahmed and Aaliyah Ali on results day at Haverstock, and, below, headteacher James Hadley with Shahriyar Alam
Adam Ferroudj, who wants to become an MP, is looking ahead to Camden School for Girls Sixth Form where he will study maths, further maths, economics and history A-levels. He achieved three 9s, four 8s, one 7 and two A*s. He said: “I am very happy.”
Aaliyah Ali said she was “overwhelmed” when she opened her results, having bagged five A*s, two As and two Bs. “I have worked so hard,” she said. “My mum has put so much effort me, so I am so happy to have made her proud.” Aaliyah has ambitions to go to Oxford or Cambridge to study medicine or dentistry.
James Hadley, headteacher at Haverstock, said: “It was very exam-heavy this year and exams were longer. To manage their stress we had Wellbeing Wednesdays, where students could drop in with snacks and teachers could check in with them. We also had an academic mentoring programme.” Mr Hadley added: “As my first year as headteacher, it’s been quite a rollercoaster, but the hard work has paid off and our grades have gone up this year. Sixty-six per cent achieved a grade 4 in maths and 50 per cent of grades in all subjects were awarded grade 5 or better – which is 13 per cent up from last year.”
Regent High School Gary Moore with Joanna John
Meanwhile, at Regent High School in Somers Town, Joanna John achieved two grade 9s, four grade 8s, one A*, one grade 7, one grade A and one grade 5. She said her teachers and their motivation helped “make sure I kept trying”. Joanna will now go on to Regent Sixth Form to study A-levels in business, English, psychology and sociology.
Regent High headteacher Gary Moore said: “Our Year 11 students have once again worked extremely hard and I would like to congratulate them on their excellent results. I would also like to thank our committed and dedicated staff who have supported these students through consistently high-quality teaching.”
Parliament Hill School students get the good news
At Parliament Hill School 36 per cent of grades were at 9-7 or A*-A, with 80 per cent of students achieving a grade 4 pass in both English and maths. Camden’s education chief, Councillor Angela Mason, said: “Many congratulations to all our students who have done fantastically well again – especially having to sit exams which have been made harder.”