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BAME students are jumping for joy

GIFTED: 11-year-old Diseye Dasimaka achieved a 9 in mathematics (photo: Chris Bull)

DESPITE AN overhaul which made GCSE exams more demanding, black and minority ethnic (BAME) students continue to achieve top results.

Among the amazing success stories is that of 11-year-old Diseye Dasimaka, below.

Diseye, from Manchester, sat his examination earlier this summer after he impressed teachers at his school – St Mary’s RC Primary School in Levenshulme – with the range of his mathematical abilities.

Based on his ability they felt he was ready to sit the GCSE examination a few years early, while still a junior school pupil.

Last week he picked up his result and found he had been awarded a 9.

Previously graded with letters, this year’s GCSEs were rated numerically, from 1 to 9, for the first time. A-levels remain graded by letters.

Diseye’s 9 is broadly equivalent to a grade above the old A* – the highest he could have scored. The talented pupil is one of only a handful in the UK to achieve top marks in the subject.

He will now start as a Year 7 pupil at the prestigious Manchester Grammar School this September.

He said: “I’m extremely proud of myself. I’m over the moon. My next target is to get all 9s when I sit my GCSEs in five years’ time.”

Diseye's mum Mary said: “We are all super, super proud of him. Even at 30 months old, he was a high achiever.

“When he was three-yearsold, he was reading as fluently as a nine-year-old.

“Whenever we go to the library or a bookshop, he will always look for maths books and when he is on his phone he is always playing maths apps, so we’ve encouraged him from day one.

“I’ve spent enough on maths books to buy a new house! We are so so proud of him, it’s brilliant.”

Mylene McGuire, headteacher at Diseye’s school, said: “I am delighted and proud of the outcome that Diseye has achieved.


“We recognised very early that Diseye had a gift for mathematics and we have provided additional targeted support to ensure that he was able to achieve at this level, and that he secured a place at the Manchester Grammar School, as we knew it is the right place for him to thrive.

“We are all very proud of Diseye!”

There was also good news for south London’s Ark Schools, which are run by the international children’s charity Ark.

DOUBLE DELIGHT: Emmanuella and Emmanuel Sarpong

Among those hard workers rejoicing at their accomplishments were twins Emmanuella and Emmanuel Sarpong, from Ark Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, south London.

Emmanuella Sarpong got two grade 8s in chemistry and food; five grade 7s in English literature, mathematics, biology, physics and geography; and two grade 6s in English Language and PE.

She said: “I was excited results day was finally here.

“I’m just feeling so thankful that I achieved these grades. My teachers have always been there for me and encouraged me. Support-wise, they couldn’t have done anything else.

“It’s great having my twin brother at school, he always keeps me going.”

Her brother Emmanuel got three grade 7s in maths, PE and business studies; and scored six grade 6s in biology, chemistry, English language, English literature, geography, history and physics.

He said: “It still hasn’t sunk in yet! I was nervous, the wait was the worst part.

“My twin sister is one of my main inspirations. Having her at school with me always made life easier. I’m looking forward to the next step and studying for my Alevels.”

Fellow Ark Evelyn Grace Academy pupil Tioluwani Ajao, got six grade 9s in English literature, maths, biology, chemistry, geography and history; three grade 8s in English language, physics and drama, an A grade in media and a grade 7 in Spanish. She said: “I haven’t taken it all in yet! My family will be so proud. My teachers have helped me all the way. Next year, I want to study biology, chemistry and history. I want to be a dietician.”

Yet another happy pupil is Kirsten Martey-Botchway.

Kirsten, a student at Ark Globe Academy in south London, achieved six 9s, two A*s and three 8s. She’s planning to study chemistry, physics and maths at Ark Globe Sixth Form. She said: “It feels a bit unreal at the moment. I am quite surprised. I wasn’t expecting these results. During the holiday, I was dreading it. When I got the results, I was quite pleased and happy.

“My mum is ecstatic, my dad and rest of my siblings are very happy as well.”

ON CLOUD ‘9’: Answer was thrilled with her results

Also celebrating at Ark Globe Academy are Brenda Irabor and Answer Ogbonnaya. Brenda, achieved three 9s, an A, four 8s and two 7s.

She will go on to study English literature, history and economics at Ark Globe Sixth Form. After that she wants to go to the University of Cambridge.

She said: “I am really happy. I saw my first grade and I burst into tears. As I was reading the rest, I got happier and happier. I read the results myself, took it in.

“Then I called my mum, she was screaming on the phone. Then I called my cousin, who is like a sister to me; she started crying on the phone. Everyone is just really happy.”

Answer, achieved one 9, an A*, two 8s, four 7s, a 6 and a 5. She wants to go on to study biology, chemistry and maths at Ark Globe Sixth Form and then medicine at university. She said: “I am happy and excited. Overall, I think that I deserve these results, because I worked hard. I feel like all of us here at Ark Globe are a big family, we all help each other in many ways. Today seeing my friends doing so well, I shed a few tears.”

Another Ark success story is Lorcan McAlindon, one of the first cohort of students to receive their GCSEs at Ark All Saints Academy in south London. He achieved three 8s, one 7, five 6s and one 5.

Lorcan said: “I want to take psychology, I have a real genuine interest in that as a subject. As well as that, I want to take biology because my strong suit is science. I also want to do media studies.

“My dad has a degree in media studies, but it’s not just that. I want to be able to understand what goes on in the world around me, the subliminal messages you see in advertising. It’s so interesting – media studies, psychology and biology are interlinked, it makes sense.”

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