Hackney has bucked national trends, with schools across the borough showing improvements in the number of pupils clinching GCSEs in subjects including English and Maths.
The results are the best ever for the borough and come a week after anxious scenes as A-level students gathered at their schools for what has now become a rite of passage, the nervous wait to see whether all the hard work in the build up to the exams eventually paid off.
Results showed 60.5% of students achieved five good GCSEs including English and Maths – a 3.5% increase on last year.
Alan Wood, corporate director for Children’s and Young People’s Services, said: “I am really pleased to see such wonderful GCSE results spread across Hackney and want to pass along my congratulations to the students for all of their hard work. Ten years ago the number of pupils getting five good GCSEs in Hackney was 31 per cent – to be almost double that is truly remarkable.
“These results are a team effort and the teachers at Hackney schools and the families of the GCSE students across the borough must also be commended for their dedication and support.
“These results will hopefully be a great indication of yet more wonderful things to come from those students who are moving on to sixth form to study their AS and A levels and those taking different routes from this point. I wish all students the very best of luck with whichever path they choose to take from here.”
Cllr Rita Krishna, Hackney Council’s children’s services chief, said the results were “excellent”.
She added: “Our schools have come a long way over the last decade and more students than ever are now achieving the top grades. I congratulate all of the pupils, their families and teachers who’ve helped to achieve this, and encourage them all to continue aiming high”.
The first cohort of Bridge Academy students have performed well.
Principal Stephen Foster said: “Our first round of GCSE results at the Bridge Academy underline the hard work and commitment of students and staff. I am very proud of our students and of their achievements.
“Congratulations to all our students who performed exceptionally well, particularly those who achieved against the odds. Their families, our staff and partners wish them the best for their future endeavours.”
Clapton Girls’ Academy headteacher Cheryl Day said: “Our GCSE results are brilliant with the best ever percentage of five or more A*–C grades. These results are a fantastic follow on from last week’s amazing A level results.”
Zoe Sadler was one of those delighted by her grades after she was awarded seven A*s, three As and two Cs.
She said: “I’m really, really happy as I got great results. I’m staying on at Clapton’s Sixth Form to do A levels, but right now I’m going home to celebrate!”
Mossbourne student Johnson Smith hopes to study medicine after sixth form and his A*, four As and four Bs are a step in the right direction. He said: “I thought I had failed as my mind went blank during some exams but I have worked hard the past year so I am very happy with my results.”
Hilal Yazan, who was awarded seven A*s and four As (as well as an AS level in Turkish), said: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet for me but I am pleased and my parents will be very happy.”
Headteacher of Our Lady’s Convent High School, Jane Gray, said: “We are really proud of these results, and delighted that the hard work of our students, supported by our dedicated staff, has led to such all round success.”
Nerissa Opong-Kusi achieved six A*s, seven As, and one B. She said: “I am so happy. No words can describe how excited and proud I am. I have really enjoyed studying various languages here, I am going into the Sixth Form and plan to study Science at University.”
Teresa Theodore was surprised by her wonderful results – two A*s, nine As and one B – and plans to continue with sixth form at Our Lady’s. She hopes to read Law at university.
She said: “I didn’t expect to do so well I am still shaking. At first I thought they had made a mistake, now I can’t wait to tell mum and dad they will be so proud of me.”
Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form Headteacher Annie Gammon said: “We are very proud of our year 11 students – every one of them. We knew that they were well prepared by their teachers and that they had worked very hard.”
There were particularly strong results in Art, all three Science subjects, Geography, History, Photography and Spanish.
The Petchey Academy is celebrating its second set of excellent results. Its principal Olivia Cole said: “Our second cohort of students always had a tough act to follow. With their hard work, the tireless support from our dedicated staff, and bearing in mind the academic start point of the cohort at key stage 2, the students have surpassed their predecessors.”
Mariambibi Haji, who achieved 16 A* and A GCSE results and hopes to study medicine after completing her A levels, said: “I worked really hard and feel good about it – I didn’t expect it.”
Husniye Ilhan was very pleased to receive 12 A* and A results. She said: “I feel really great. I was really surprised with my results and pleased with myself because I put in a lot of hard work and I’m glad it paid off.”
This year’s crop of A-level results was meanwhile praised as “fantastic” by Hackney’s education head honchos.
Mossbourne Community Academy Principal Peter Hughes said: “I am really pleased with my first set of A level results. The students have, once again, done themselves and the Academy proud and the hard work and dedication of staff is also to be commended.”
Antony Wood, one of the top students at the school off Amhurst Road, said he was “shocked” to achieve three A*’s (in English, Maths and History) and an A (for Religious studies) and by his offer of a place at the University of Cambridge to study Law.
Isobella Gillies Mclean, who was equally surprised with her four A*’s (in English literature, History, Religious studies and Fine art), said: “I have a place at the University of Bristol to study English, but I have deferred for a year to do a foundation course in fine art. I want to be an author and might reapply to Cambridge next year. I really wasn’t expecting to do this well./ 3 September, 2012