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St Mary Magdalene Academy GCSE results: ‘Fantastic’ result despite fears over new grading system

PUBLISHED: 12:38 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:55 24 August 2017

St Mary Magdalene Academy: students and headteacher Vicky Linsley (back, centre) celebrate their GCSE results. Picture: James Morris

St Mary Magdalene Academy: students and headteacher Vicky Linsley (back, centre) celebrate their GCSE results. Picture: James Morris

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St Mary Magdalene Academy headteacher Vicky Linsley was concerned about Michael Gove’s strange new grading system – but she needn’t have worried.

St Mary Magdalene Academy: star pupil Sidal Daghan celebrates her GCSE results. Picture: James MorrisSt Mary Magdalene Academy: star pupil Sidal Daghan celebrates her GCSE results. Picture: James Morris

English language, English literature and maths are now rated from 1 to 9, with 9 top. Confusingly, other subjects remain graded using the traditional A* to G system.

Under the shake-up, the curriculum is widely thought to be harder. But the school, in Liverpool Road, Holloway, was celebrating this morning as 30 per cent of pupils achieved exclusively the top two grades across the board.

Ms Linsley said: “We have got great results. Nearly 30 per cent got the top two grades, which is similar to last year and absolutely fantastic.

“Everyone was really nervous about the new grading system, as it’s tough for everyone – teachers and pupils – to switch into a gear they weren’t used to. But like anything, we pushed through it and there will be lots of happy faces today.”

St Mary Magdalene Academy: Ali Akon celebrates his GCSE results. Picture: James MorrisSt Mary Magdalene Academy: Ali Akon celebrates his GCSE results. Picture: James Morris

She added: “We were really anxious about maths in particular, as this was the biggest step up in terms of difficulty. The maths teachers said the top-end questions were A-level standard.

“It has been very challenging for everyone to take that on in a tight timescale. So we were nervous – until we saw the results last night. Seven per cent got a 9 grade.”

As the clock struck 10am, excited pupils students rushed to collect their results. One boy was soon jumping around, screaming: “I GOT A 9!”

Sidal Daghan was the school’s top performer, with an incredible three 9s and eight A*s. This included three languages: Mandarin, Spanish and Turkish.

St Mary Magdalene Academy: Indira Rodriguez celebrates her GCSE results. Picture: James MorrisSt Mary Magdalene Academy: Indira Rodriguez celebrates her GCSE results. Picture: James Morris

After seeing she had achieved the maximum possible results, Sidal said: “I still don’t know if I’ve read the sheet wrong. It feels really surreal. You always imagine getting top grades but I didn’t think it would actually happen. I am really thankful to my teachers and hope I can continue.”

Aki Akon was delighted with his 9 in maths, with a flurry of As elswhere: “I’m really happy,” he said. “It’s better than I expected. I was just going for As and Bs. Maths was a lot harder than I imagined, especially compared to the past papers, so to get a 9 was unexpected.”

Indira Rodriguez also got a top set of results, including a 9 and three A*s. She said: “I wasn’t expecting the results, but the exams weren’t as hard as I expected. I wasn’t necessarily nervous this morning.”

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