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IB students set sights on university following cancellation of exams
Following a results review service, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) has evaluated and recommended grade adjustments, releasing revised final results on 17th August 2020. Westminster Academy is delighted to see students awarded with the results that reflect the capabilities of the Class of 2020, with an increase in the average score of IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) students at the Academy to 36.25 points - smashing the 2019 IBDP world average of 29.65.
Exceptional individual results include five students achieving an impressive 40 points and above out of a possible 45 points in the IBDP: Aminah Memon (44 points), Irakli Antidze (44), Alysha Rajabali (43), Emma Ricchiari (41) and Sahar Rajabali (40).
In a year unlike any other, International Baccalaureate (IB) students at Westminster Academy are relieved to now have their hard work recognised and rewarded with top university places after the uncertainty of the past five months. With the May 2020 IB examination session cancelled due to restrictions and social distancing measures implemented to combat the spread of COVID-19, the IB awarded grades to its students in over 5000 schools across the globe in July based on coursework, predicted grades and historic data. The review and analysis of grades in August used data from official Internal Assessments, marked by IB examiners, as well as predicted grades, to ensure the validity and fairness of final grades.
Aminah Memon, who scored 44 points, was delighted to achieve a place at the University of Oxford to study Biology. She reflected, 'The last two years have just been great; I've felt so well supported by the teachers throughout. It's an extraordinary year and the results have been a bit of a surprise, but I'm really happy with how it all went. I've learned how to work hard and learned how to learn much more effectively than before. Looking back, I'm astonished at how much I've learned since I started the course two years ago and I'm really grateful for the support I've received.' Ali Salman scored 39, earning a place at UCL. He was keen to thank the Academy for 'taking such good care of us and offering all those amazing opportunities along the way. All in all, I'm really happy that I chose to do the IB and can see how much I've changed for it.' Chaima Ouahil, scoring 37, found lockdown challenging, but remained positive and busy, continuing her role as a mentor and regularly checking in on her younger mentees from the Academy to ensure they were safe and happy during the lockdown. She said of Westminster Academy, 'It's my second home; I've spent more time at school than at home over the last few years and it's going to be really difficult to move on. I wasn't expecting my results to turn out quite as well as they did so I'm really happy and really grateful for the efforts of all of my teachers.' Chaima, who speaks five languages, will now be taking up a place at King’s College London, putting her skills to use to study International Relations.
International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) students also had plenty to celebrate, with their results securing places at Russell Group universities including Cardiff, Exeter, Nottingham and Queen Mary. Daniel Garospour became Westminster Academy’s highest ever scoring IBCP student after achieving a perfect D*D*D* in his BTEC Extended Diploma in Creative Media, an equally perfect grade 7 in IB English Language and Literature, and grade 6 in IB Mathematical Studies. He will now be taking up his place at Queen Mary to study Politics and International Relations with a year abroad.
Following the analysis and revision of IB grades in August, Principal, Dr Rana welcomed the IBO’s approach. “At a time when young people across the UK are losing faith in the integrity of education assessment, we welcome the IBO’s decision to re-evaluate grades after listening to the IB community of schools and students across the world. The Westminster Academy Class of 2020 has excelled in the IB since they began the course two years ago, and we are happy that this has now been recognised via their exam results, ensuring students have access to the brightest future pathways they worked so hard for, and achieving some of the Academy’s best ever results.”
Dr Rana thanked staff, parents, carers, sponsors, governors and community as she congratulated Year 13, and added, “This cohort of students is among the most resilient I have ever encountered. After seven years of Key Stage 4 and 5 education, to lose the chance to showcase their knowledge in an examination is a huge disappointment, yet these students have never complained; they have continued to stretch themselves through their online classes, remain positive through enrichment activities and have even mentored our younger students online while the building has been closed. I am extremely proud of their success in these exams and wish them the very best with the exciting university courses, apprenticeships or careers they wholeheartedly deserve.”
This article was updated on 17th August following an update from the IBO.