Thursday 18th of August brought joy to many young people across Barnet as they received their A-Level and Vocational Results, with students from across the Borough going onto interesting university destinations and apprenticeships. While there were concerns up and down the country regarding this year’s results students have defied the odds, with many schools reporting that these have been their “best results ever.” This year’s results are a testament to the hard work and tenacity of Barnet students as well as the education staff and families that have supported them in this journey.
Results Day was fraught with concern for many across the country - this year’s students represent what has been referenced as the ‘Covid Cohort’: students who were unable to sit their GCSE exams in the Spring of 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as enduring periods of disruption, school closures, and online learning. Barnet Council and Barnet Education & Learning Service worked closely with schools and settings across the borough to provide additional resources and support to try and minimise the impact of pandemic disruption on the learning and attainment of children and young people in Barnet. Schools, education staff, families, and carers have all made an enormous effort to support these young people over the past two-and-a-half year, and their efforts are evident in this year’s A-Level and Vocational results.
Barnet has a long-standing history of Results Day success, consistently ranking in the top 5% in the country for A-Levels results over the past five years. This year was no different, with many young people and their schools enjoying the fruits of their labour, celebrating the achievements and destinations of this year’s cohort. Speaking on the results, BELS Chief Executive and Director of Education Neil Marlow said, “I was delighted to hear from Barnet schools about the successes and achievements of their students. Barnet students and their schools have been through an incredibly challenging two and a half years. I’m proud that our staff in BELS have been able to support and assist both schools and the children and young people themselves to help them get through this period, minimising the disruption to the students’ learning. The A Level and vocational results demonstrate the hard work that everyone has put in.”
Speaking about this year’s vocational achievements, BELS Senior Curriculum Adviser Tracy Parrott said, “We are pleased to hear about students’ success on a range of vocational qualifications on offer across Barnet. There have been some notable individual achievements in our schools and colleges and it is fantastic to see so many students have been able to access exciting university courses or degree apprenticeships by following a vocational pathway. It is great that despite the uncertainty of the last few years, so many students have exciting futures ahead.”
Learn more about the different successes of each school and the exciting destinations where Barnet students will be heading.
Christ’s College Finchley
Christ’s College Finchley was one of many Barnet schools to receive their “best ever results,” showing the highest percentage attainment seen by the school: 89% of grades at A*-C, 69% at A*-B, and not a single failed exam. CCF reported many individual student successes, with student going on to attend several excellent universities, including the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, Loughborough University, University of Bristol, and University of Birmingham. Students will be studying a variety of courses, including History, Medicine, Computing, Law, Economics, Chemical Engineering, and Sports Science.
Reflecting on the concerns surrounding this year’s examinations, Headteacher Samson Olusanya said, “These students have made light of never having previously taken any formal examinations,” mentioning the many difficulties this group of students faced over the past two years, “This is the cohort that had to don masks, queue for vaccinations, and regularly insert swabs up their nostrils before thinking about packing their schoolbooks.” Mr. Olusanya went on to say, “The results are clearly our best ever, but it is the journey that should give them and you the most pride.”
Mr. Olusanya also acknowledged the role of education staff and student families in helping these students succeed, saying, “Their story, their journey, their success which has been facilitated, aided, supported by both governors and staff and they must also take great credit. Thank you for your dedication in helping our incredible Covid cohort to achieve these astounding outcomes.”
The Compton School
Students at The Compton also achieved excellent results, particularly in BTEC Business. Across this year’s BTEC Business cohort of 25 students, 72% achieved Distinction*- Distinction grades and 96% attained Dinstinction*- Merit grades. Students have accepted places in Degree Apprenticeships and excellent universities, including the University of Westminster, the University of Southampton, and Kingston University. Of note is student Andreas, who received a Distinction*, Distinction*, C, who will be embarking on an Accounting Degree Apprenticeship with AGK Accounting Partners, as well as student Hirbod, who received a Distinction*, Distinction*, B, who will be studying Finance and Financial Technology at the University of Southampton.
They also achieved some of the best A Level results in the school’s history with 30% of all grades being A/A* and an impressive overall pass rate of 98%.
Copthall School students achieved excellent A-Levels and vocational results, continuing to see improvements on the 2019 results, with A* or Distinction* grades achieved in eight different subjects, including English Literature, History, Art, Geography, and Business. Among those who sat A-Levels, 20.49% of grades were A*-A; 46.83% received A*-B grades. Vocational results saw an increase in top grades being achieved by students compared to 2019, with several Distinctions and Distinction*s.
Copthall students will be going on to exciting destinations, both academic and vocational. A number of students have secured places in highly competitive apprenticeships in the fields of business, beauty, and childcare, with one student who has been offered a job at the Bank of England, who will cover her fees at the University of Exeter while she studies computer engineering. Several students have also achieved places at prestigious universities, including Oxford University, Imperial College London, Kings College London, Exeter University, and the University of York.
Discussing this year’s results, Headteacher Evelyn Forde said, “The last two years have been exceptional, unprecedented and unlike any other exam season and therefore ever more reason to celebrate the amazing achievements of our young people and the teachers who taught them. Students can now embark on the next part of their educational journey with confidence, and I am sure will continue to be aspirational and remarkable young people.”
Hasmonean High School
Hasmonean High School boys also enjoyed great success in both A-Levels and BTEC results, with many students going on to study at yeshiva followed by taking places at the University of Cambridge and other Russell Group universities. 29% of students attained A* grades; 58% attained A*/A grades; and 76% attained A*-B grades among Hasmonean High School for boys.
Hasmonean High School Girls also received excellent A-Level and BTEC results, with many going on to study at seminary before taking up places at many prestigious institutions, including many Russell Group universities. Of particular interest is Ariella Garren in Year 12 who did her A-Levels in one year, achieving 3 A*s and will be attending Columbia University in New York City. Overall, 26% of girls attained an A* grade; 63% attained A*/A grades, and 81% achieved A*-B grades.
Many students at Hendon School studied a combination of A-Levels and Vocational Qualifications. Hendon reported excellent vocational results, seeing continued improvements over pandemic and pre-pandemic levels, with many students finding success from studying vocational courses. There were 66 entries across the subjects of Business, IT, Health & Social Care, Performing Arts, Travel & Tourism, and Sports Science; 33% of students received Distinction*-Distinction grades, 67% received Merit-Distinction* grades, and 94% achieved Pass-Distinction* grades. Among individual subjects, 50% of grades in both Travel & Tourism and Performing Arts received a Distinction*-Distinction grade, followed by 31% of Sports Science grades at Distinction*-Distinction
Many students with vocational qualifications have exciting futures ahead, both in academia and apprenticeships. Rida T will be studying Law at SOAS University of London, Abi T will be studying Sport and Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Anjali K will be studying Business at Greenwich University. Several students will be going onto Degree Apprenticeships, including Ilyas A who will be working for Atkins while completing a DA at Kingston University in Civil Engineering and Ali A will be working for PWC while completing a DA at Queen Mary University of London in Software Engineering.
Queen Elizabeth’s Boys’ School
Queen Elizabeth’s Boys’ School also celebrated “best-ever results,” with seven out of every ten A-Levels awarded an A* grade and securing 35 Oxbridge offers. 929.2% of results were at A*-A and 98.3% at A*-B, marking the school’s 17th consecutive year above 95% for this figure. All 50 Economics candidates received either A* or A; likewise, there were no grades lower than A awarded for English, French, Geography, Latin, Music and Sociology. Mathematics students also received excellent results, with 82% achieving A*.
Speaking about the results, Headmaster Neil Enright said, “These brilliant outcomes are well deserved and are testament to both the talent and dedication of pupils and staff, and to the quality of education maintained throughout the last two-and-a-half years.
“The return of public exams has given the boys the opportunity to clearly demonstrate the fruits of their continued hard work and focus during the challenges of the pandemic, and their strong motivation to push forwards.”
Queen Elizabeth’s Girls School
Queen Elizabeth’s Girls School reported results better than those of 2019, with 80% of students on their first-choice courses at universities. The school also reported two Oxbridge students: one who will study Spanish at Oxford and one who will study Human, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge. Many other students from the school will be attending Russell Group universities around the UK, including University College London and Bristol. Students will be studying a variety of courses, both in the Arts and STEM subjects, including architecture, engineering, economics, and global humanitarian studies.
Speaking on this year’s results, Headteacher Violet Walker said, “I am very proud of our students and their achievements and also proud of our Sixth Form teachers and pastoral team.” Walker also acknowledged the extra steps the school took to support this group of students, saying, “I am delighted that the support we provided for this particular cohort, who were most impact by Covid when their GCSEs were cancelled in 2020, seems to have been successful in achieving its aims.”
The Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS)
JCoSS students also achieved the school’s best ever results, with Headteacher Patrick Moriarty remarking that they were “all the more remarkable for a cohort that had never sat public exams before and whose Sixth Form studies were so affected by the pandemic.” Across all A-Level and Cambridge Technical Qualifications, 60% of grades were A*/A (or equivalent) and 82% were A*-B. Of this year’s cohort, 103 students too A-Levels only, 35 took Cambridge Technical Qualifications only, and 18 took a blend of both.
Among A-Level results, 52% of the grades achieved were A*/A, with 22% receiving an A*, and 78% attained A*-B. Six in ten students (61%) received at least 3 A grades. In Cambridge Technical Qualifications, 82% of grades were Distinction* and 94% were Distinction or better. The majority of students have places confirmed at their chosen universities, many at prestigious institutions, set to embark on courses including the Arts, Business, Economics, Engineering, Maths, Medicine, and Science. Several others will be heading directly into employment, having secured exciting apprenticeships and job offers.
Among vocational results, JCoSS students had particularly striking successes in Media Studies, where 43 out of 50 grades were Distinction*, and in Sport where 8 out of 9 grades were Distinction*. Some of the destinations of vocational students at JCoSS include Fashion Marketing at Leeds University, Education with Psychology at Bath University, and Business at Bath University.
Speaking on this year’s results, Moriarty said, “We are delighted that these excellent results recognise the huge strengths we have seen in them over 7 years and their dedicated, resilient hard work.” Acknowledging the disruptions and difficulties experienced due to the pandemic, Moriarty said, “I salute their unstinting labours, and those of their teachers, and pay tribute also to parents who have shouldered additional burdens over these past two years.
“We take pride in our students’ academic accomplishments and, just as much, in the qualities we have seen grow in them during their time at JCoSS. They leave as accomplished Mensches, embodying the values of the school and the wider community, and ready to act as ambassadors for both as they step forward on the next phase of their lives.”
St Andrew the Apostle
St Andrew the Apostle School celebrated their first set of A-Level exam results, with students performing “extremely well,” according the Executive Headteacher Anthony Easton: 12.4% of grades were A/A* and 34.4% of grades were A/B. The school also reported several individual successes among the small cohort, with one student accepted to study mathematics at University of Oxford and another student accepted to study medicine at the University of Leicester. Speaking of this year’s results, Easton said, “Overall, we are delighted with the doors that have opened for our learners with their individual results, with the vast majority of our students having gained places within their choices of university or the next career step.”
Head of Sixth Form, Johanna Fourcade, echoed Easton’s sentiment, saying, “We are incredibly proud of the achievements of all our Sixth Form students, who over the last seven years have flourished into inspirational young adults. The grades we celebrated today are thoroughly deserved and mark the start of your next exciting journey. The majority of our students started with us in Year 7, and their results represent their final and most significant achievement in their St Andrew journey.”