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Posted on 24 Aug 2017

Rising above the challenge: students make the grade in new English and Maths GCSEs

Following the much anticipated grading changes to GCSEs, students at Westminster Academy are today celebrating 74% of students achieving the benchmark grade of a pass at GCSE.

With radical changes taking place to the course content and grading of English Literature, English Language and Mathematics, the Academy is pleased to see students excel in all three of the reformed exams; 78% of students achieved grades 9-4 in Mathematics and 88% in English Language and Literature. Further successes include Science, in which 85% of students achieved a C or above, and Further Additional Science in which 90% of students achieved a C or above.

Top performer, Maria-Minodora Grosu achieved exceptional grades, including 8 qualifications at grade A or above, with 9s in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics. The elusive grade 9 represents a higher grade than an A*, the Department of Education confirming that as a result fewer grade 9s have been awarded than the former A*s. Maria said, “I feel quite overwhelmed. I worked hard but really didn’t expect these results, especially in Maths.” Maria achieved her outstanding English grades despite arriving in the UK only two years ago and speaking English as a second language. She now looks forward to taking on IB English and History, along with four other subjects, when she commences the International Diploma Programme (IBDP) in September.

Joining Maria on the IBDP will be fellow student Murkabh Abdulhamid, who will be celebrating his 9 A+ qualifications, including A*s in Science, Further Additional Science and History, and 9 in English Literature, when he flies out to Malaysia later today. He had this advice for next year’s Year 11: “Concentrate in class; keep that in mind and you will do well.” Namuun Sandog Ochir, after dreaming she was going to fail, was delighted with her 12 GCSE passes, particularly her A* in Latin. She added, “Believe in yourself.”

As the first year group to contend with the new exams, students were even more nervous than usual this morning, keen that their results do justice to five years of hard work at the Academy. They were joined by their teachers who have spent the last few years preparing to ensure students reach their potential in the new exams. Principal, Dr Saima Rana said, “Whilst adopting a new grading system has been a challenge, at Westminster Academy our students and staff thrive on challenges and I am thrilled to see our students achieving results that open doors to exciting future pathways. Congratulations to the Class of 2017, and to the parents, carers, staff, sponsors, governors and community and business partners who have given students their invaluable support throughout their education at Westminster Academy.”

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