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BAME students celebrate exam success

PROUD: Yasir Yusuf got two A*s in history and RE, an A in economics and an A in maths

BLACK AND minority ethnic (BAME) students across the country were celebrating last week after achieving top A-level results.

National figures show A-level students were awarded the highest proportion of As and A*s since 2012.

It was estimated that some 26.4 per cent of exams were awarded these top grades. However the proportion gaining A* to C dropped to 78.4% from 79% last year.

Among those celebrating was Marcus Gooden-Husbands, who is a pupil at Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, south London.

TEEN TALENT: Marcus is going to King's College

The talented teen achieved an A in maths, an A in religious education and a B in government and politics and will be going on to read philosophy at King’s College.

A spokesperson for the school said: “Marcus is a quiet, studious and hardworking individual who has achieved his goals by steadfastly working and studying in a self-disciplined and mature manner,” said his teachers.

“A Brixton resident his whole life, Marcus has avoided distractions and has remained determined to achieve his goal of going to a top university.”

The school is celebrating its best-ever A-level results, as the number of students achieving the top grades has risen yet again.

Evelyn Grace Academy principal Tim Dainty said: “I am immensely proud of what has been achieved this year. It is fantastic to see both our students’ and teachers’ hard work and endeavour pay off on results day.

“Our drive for excellence has helped our students secure some very strong results that enable them to go on to university or compete for the very best positions in their chosen career.”

Another happy student is Daniel Okirika from Christ the King Sixth Form college in south London.

He scored top grades in his engineering BTEC exams, and is now heading to Hertfordshire University to study civil engineering.

Daniel, a youth pastor for Lighthouse Chapel International, put his exam success is down to hard work – and the power of prayer.

He said that his studies at Christ the King demanded a lot of him.

“This college was a test for me; a test for me becoming stronger as a Christian,” he said.

And studying engineering wasn’t a "given", either. It was a choice between sport and engineering when he arrived at the college.

He said, laughing: “My mum said, 'no sport’. But I’ve always been interested in how bridges and motorways are created.”

Christ the King Sixth Form Collegiate Principal Rob McAuliffe said: “We’re very proud of Daniel’s success. And his journey at Christ the King demonstrates that while we are a Catholic community, we actively welcome students of all faiths and of none.”

PICTURED: Successful student Daniel

Among those also celebrating were students at Brampton Manor Academy in East Ham.

Students at the school achieved record A-level results with nearly 100 of them gaining three As or higher.

Many of its students have gained places at a number of top UK universities such as Oxford and Cambridge to Imperial, Bristol and Durham.

Of the 20 students who have gained places at Oxford and Cambridge, all come from BAME backgrounds.

Almost all of them are the first member of their family to go to university, and around half of them receive free school meals, A-levels there, according to director of sixth form, Sam Dobin.

One of the successful students is Baker Lubwama who got three A*s and will be going on to study medicine at Cambridge.

“My mum was screaming down the phone saying ‘You’ve made us proud’,” he told HuffPost UK.

The school is run by executive principal Dr Dayo Olukoshi, who was awarded an OBE in 2015 for his services to education.

Brampton Manor Academy has been rated outstanding by Ofsted twice in the past five years, in both 2015 and 2018.

Also celebrating is Yasir Yusuf, who studied at Ark 6th Form College in East Sussex. He got two A*s in history and RE, an A in economics and an A in maths and will be going to the University of Warwick to study politics, philosophy and economics.

He said: “I’ve been really nervous and anxious for the whole week. On opening my results I was over the moon. I’m really shocked I’ve done so well and it still hasn’t sunk in. I’m so happy. I couldn’t have done it without my teachers, friends and family.”

Staff and students at Urswick School in Hackney had their share of good news over A-level exam results – the school achieved a 100 per cent pass rate.

The school saw 55 per cent of sixth formers achieved top grades of A* to B – an increase of 12 per cent compared to last year – while 77 per cent got A* to C grades.

All its students have been offered a place at university, for subjects ranging from law and business to sociology, engineering and computing.

Divine Okoroji joined the school in Year 11 in December 2014 after completing his junior certificate in Ireland.

Divine stayed on for the sixth form and has achieved a distinction* in BTEC Art and Design alongside an A in A-level art and C in A-level psychology.

He said: “I have achieved more than I could have imagined, all thanks to the teachers who have helped me. The support I have received from this school will not be forgotten and I am truly thankful.”

Divine is going to Brunel University to study industrial and technology design.

GOOD GRADES: Laila got an A* in sociology, B in English literature and a B in religious studies.

Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe, south London was another school celebrating the success of its students.

The school said that 46 per cent of A-level grades achieved by its pupils were in the A* to B bracket and 78 per cent of the school’s pupils were awarded A* to C grades.

Among its top achievers were Sarah Boukhemma who gained an A in English language, B in English literature and an A in media studies and Kathryn Oluyinka who also got an A in English language, a B in art and a distinction in BTEC Business.

There was also joy for North Birmingham Academy Sixth Form student Laila Mafemba who got an A* in sociology, B in English literature and a B in religious studies.

Philip Lloyd, headteacher of North Birmingham Academy, said: “It is testament to the hard work of our students and academy staff that so many leave our academy today to continue their careers at fantastic destinations including universities, apprenticeships and employment.”

William Hulme Grammar School student Kene Anthony-Okeke is looking forward to studying law at the University of Nottingham after achieving A* grades in English Language and Economics and an A in Psychology.

Peter Mulholland, principal of William Hulme’s Grammar School, said: “I am delighted for our Sixth Form students,who are celebrating some excellent results today. In particular, I am very pleased for all those who have received the grades they need to take up the university place of their choice and to take the first steps towards the professions and careers to which they aspire.”

Atoni Rose will be studying midwifery in Manchester

Atoni Rose, 18, from Nottingham’s Bluecoat Academy achieved three Bs in biology, chemistry and philosophy and ethics. She will be studying midwifery in Manchester.

She said: “After exams I just blocked the fact that there was a results day up till yesterday - and then I didn’t sleep last night. I can start shopping for uni now!”

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