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Students post best-ever GCSE performance against backdrop of tougher exams

The Mayor of Islington congratulates AMSI students Nasra Abubakar, left, and Race Hassan.

The Mayor of Islington congratulates AMSI students Nasra Abubakar, left, and Race Hassan.

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Islington students have posted the borough’s best-ever set of GCSE results, with an increase in attainment against a backdrop of tougher exams and a new grading system.

Analysis of provisional results suggests that students outperformed previous years in real terms, despite the shake-up of the exams system and a raft of new rules.

As the results came in, Cllrs Joe Caluori and Richard Watts attended Arts & Media School Islington (AMSI) along with the Mayor of Islington this morning to congratulate pupils.

Cllr Caluori, executive member for children, young people and families said: “Our students this year have faced a double challenge – the big shift towards exams at the end of their courses, and a brand new grading system – so it’s all the more impressive that they have come out of it with flying colours.

“Meeting many students today, I was struck by their dedication, enthusiasm and ambition to make their mark in the world.

“I know how hard the teachers have worked to support our students through this too, and they should be just as proud of helping our next generation be the best they can be. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Among those celebrating was Race Hassan, who followed in the footsteps of his older sister, a high-flying alumnus of the school, by getting four grade 8s, four grade 7s, one grade 6 and two grade 5s.

He said: “Last year my sister came top of the school and so I wanted to do the same. You do the exams and with hindsight you think ‘Oh, if only I had put this instead of that’. I knew what I expected from some of the subjects but there were some that were 50/50, so it was quite suspenseful. But when I opened my results I was relieved!”

Race will take A-levels in biology, chemistry, maths and English and wants to go into medicine.

Kimberly Onen is deciding which college to head to for A-levels in geography, biology and chemistry after gaining a GCSE grade 8 in biology and four grade 7s, among others. “I got only about two hours’ sleep last night,” she said.

“I want to do medicine, but if I don’t go down that road then I would like to do biochemistry. Most of the pressure on me came from myself, so I could go back to my parents proudly, and get a job.”

Also over the moon was Mahed Shakur, who surprised even himself with a grade 7 in maths, fuelling plans to follow his older siblings to university.

“I was really happy with that,” he said. “If I had had extra time in the exam I would have done even better. I have always had a passion for maths since reception. I tried really hard and I want to thank my teacher [who] inspired us a lot in class.”

Mahed started Year 11 with grade 3-standard in English, but worked hard and achieved a grade 6 this summer. “My class had two teachers throughout the week and they kept on inspiring me and encouraging me to do well. I feel proud about that,” he added.

Nasra Abubakar will head to one of Islington’s sixth-form colleges to study chemistry and psychology after getting two grade 7s, three grade 6s and two each of grades 5 and 4. “My mum called me and she was so happy when I told her what I got,” she said. “I think if you enjoy doing it, you are going to want to study it.”

Other successes included Mazin Ali, who achieved four grade 9 results in maths, chemistry, physics and computer science.

Islington Council is committed to making sure every 16-year-old has an offer of training or education on the table so they can make the most of their next steps. Members of the council’s Progress team were on hand to offer advice and guidance at the borough’s secondary schools today, and a special Aspire event is being held for students to offer further help on September 12.


Notes to editor

Young people can meet colleges, training providers and employers with apprenticeships at the Aspire 2018 event on September 12, held from 1pm to 4pm at Lift, 45 White Lion Street, N1 9PW. Lunch will be provided and parents and carers are welcome. If you can't make it, you can still get support to find a course, traineeship or apprenticeship by emailing or calling 020 7527 7031.



AMSI students (from left) Mustafa Abdullah, Syed Hussain, Max Conway Goutines and Mazin Ali celebrate.

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AMSI students Mahed Shakur, left, and Kimberly Onen celebrate their GCSE results.

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AMSI student Kimberly Onen with her GCSE results

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