GCSE success for Class of 2021 despite unprecedented disruption

Despite the challenges of the past 18 months, Camden’s Class of 2021 GCSE students have achieved an impressive set of results, which were an improvement on previous years.

The percentage of Camden students achieving a ‘standard pass’ in English and maths (grade 4 and above in both) was 75% this year, two percentage points up on 2020 (73%) and well above the national average in 2019, which was 65%.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Camden students achieving a ‘strong pass’ in English and maths (grade 5 and above in both) was 55% this year, slightly up on last year’s 54% and well above the national average in 2019, which was 43%.

Eighty-two per cent of GCSE entries in Camden schools achieved a grade 4 and above in 2021 and a third (33%) of Camden GCSE grades were at grade 7 and above this year, compared with 28.5% nationally in 2021.

Regent High School’s highest achieving student this year was Saira Begum who achieved eight grade 9s in biology, business studies, English language, English literature, geography, maths, physics and sociology and three grade 8s. Saira will be taking biology, chemistry, geography and maths A-levels and hopes to study medicine at Oxford or Cambridge.

Fellow Regent High School student, Mustapha Blain achieved five grade 9s in his GCSEs, as well as four grade 8s and one grade 5, while Faiza Khan, a former Edith Neville Primary School pupil, got three 9s, five 8s and two 6s in her GCSEs at Regent High School. She hopes to read forensic psychology or educational psychology at University College London after her A-levels.

Headteacher Gary Moore said: “We are hugely proud of our students and the grades they have achieved, which illustrates their tenacity and stamina.”

At Camden School for Girls, an amazing 16% of GCSE grades were at the highest grade 9, while 81% of students at the school achieved a ‘strong pass’ (grade 5 and above) in both English and maths.

Headteacher Elizabeth Kitcatt said: “Students at Camden School for Girls have been awarded outstanding grades in their GCSEs. Along with all young people, they have faced a particularly difficult time since March 2020 with long periods of disruption to their education.

“We are full of admiration for our students’ resilience, determination and tenacity as they coped with a complete change to the way in which they were assessed for their GCSEs. They adapted brilliantly to remote learning and then adapted again to the requirement to complete testing and assessments in lessons in their final few weeks of Year 11.

"We are exceptionally proud of what our students have achieved in the face of such difficulty. We are especially proud of Martha Lucas, who suffered from anxiety. After the first lockdown it was extremely hard for her to come into school at all, and then difficult to remain even if she did manage to attend. We worked with Martha and her family to find ways to enable her to succeed - she had a learning mentor, and meetings with the deputy headteacher and her head of year when needed. We were incredibly impressed with Martha's determination to overcome these difficulties and unbelievably proud that she managed to get six GCSEs at grade 9, three at grade 8 and one at grade 7 - a truly magnificent achievement!

"Another of our students, Annabel Mitchison, also struggled with her mental health during lockdown and with the return to school. The school and Annabel's family, like Martha's, did everything possible to support her and we are thrilled that she has achieved eight GCSEs at grade 9 and three at grade 8.

"Martha and Annabel are just two out of many, many students in this school and worldwide who struggled with their mental health as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns. We hope their stories will inspire others and also remind anyone who thinks these qualifications were easily achieved that nothing could be further from the truth. These outcomes were hard-won, and exceptionally well-deserved."

At Haverstock School, Sabrina Gozzo De Souza achieved seven grade 9s and one 8 and will be staying on at Haverstock Sixth Form to study biology, chemistry and geography A-levels. Aysha Begum, who got six grade 9s, one 8 and a 7, will also join Haverstock Sixth Form for her A-levels. Fellow Haverstock student Lennon Doran was also very happy with his grade 9, three 8s, three 7s and a 6.

Headteacher James Hadley said: “This group of students did everything they could to overcome the problems faced by the pandemic, including attending over 95% of their online lessons when the school was closed and revising diligently for their exams until the very end of Year 11. We are all very proud of what they have achieved and are hugely thankful to our wonderful staff who supported them every step of the way.”

Year 11 students at Maria Fidelis Catholic School were also celebrating a strong set of GCSE results. Headteacher Helen Gill, said: “The students should feel incredibly proud of their achievements. They worked really hard and coped admirably in the face of much uncertainty and constant change. Staff worked really hard to make sure that the students continued to receive high quality education throughout, and these results are testament to the huge effort put in by all.” 

Among those Maria Fidelis students who achieved particularly well were Mansil Yoon, who got six grade 9s, three 8s and a level 7; Liam Fowkes, who got six 9s, two 8s and two 7s; Jack Minto and Emilia Nzeako, both of whom got three 9s, four 8s and two 7s, and Tamara Donbraye, who got one 9, six 8s and two 7s.

At Hampstead School, Jada Cupid achieved grade 9s in English literature and English language among her GCSE results and is looking forward to starting her A-Levels in September.

Hampstead School’s Headteacher, Matt Sadler, said: “These young people have been through so much over the past 18 months - their success is very much deserved.”

At Acland Burghley School, student Joe Ryan got a straight set of nine grade 9s in his GCSEs, while Wilf Clapham, Andrew Bodger and Benny Davies all got seven grade 9s and two 8s. David Allen, Christian Kuligowski, Eliza Clapcott and Amir Battye each achieved five grade 9s and three 8s.

Headteacher Nicholas John said: “It has been a challenging time to be a GCSE student, and every grade is richly deserved. I would like to extend my congratulations to our students on their remarkable achievements. Staff worked very effectively in teams to supply the Teacher Assessed Grades.”

High achievers at UCL Academy included Lexi Rosenberg, who was delighted to achieve an impressive five grade 9s and five grade 8s, and Sahra Nur, who was thrilled with her three grade 9s, four 8s and three 7s.

Cllr Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families
I am so proud of all the Camden students who received their GCSE results today. Despite what has been a challenging year for many of them, these young people have worked incredibly hard to focus on their studies and I would like to congratulate them on their successes and wish them well in their next steps, whether that’s going on to sixth form, further education or training.

I would also like to say a heartfelt thank you to Camden’s teachers and school staff who have gone above and beyond to support students throughout the pandemic and whose hard work and dedication has helped to make such brilliant exam results possible.
Cllr Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families