Search

Percentage of Islington GCSE English and maths passes increases

PUBLISHED: 14:54 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 01:20 22 August 2020

Highbury Fields GCSE pupils (from left) Pharima Atchariyakorn, Alicia Little, Meri Fisniku and Mia Folkes Pawlowski. Picture: Em Fitzgerald Photography

Highbury Fields GCSE pupils (from left) Pharima Atchariyakorn, Alicia Little, Meri Fisniku and Mia Folkes Pawlowski. Picture: Em Fitzgerald Photography

Archant

More than half of Islington pupils were awarded a grade 5 or above in English and maths on GCSE results day this year.

Highbury Fields GCSE pupils Meri Fisniku, left, and Mia Folkes Pawlowski. Picture: Em Fitzgerald PhotographyHighbury Fields GCSE pupils Meri Fisniku, left, and Mia Folkes Pawlowski. Picture: Em Fitzgerald Photography

That figure is up eight per cent on last year (44pc to 52pc), and sits alongside a rise to the average Attainment 8 score in the borough, from 4.69 in 2019 to 4.99 this year.

The English Baccalaureate average point score has also increased from 4.2 last year to 4.4 this year.

READ MORE: GCSE results 2020: Latest updates from Islington

However, many students are still feeling the affects of tumultuous government policy over the last week - which saw an algorithm used to calculate A Level grades overturned because nearly 40 per cent of pupils were downgraded.

The Department of Education took the U-turn on August 17, announcing grades would be based on teacher predictions, but BTECs were not included and many students are still awaiting those results.

Highbury Fields GCSE pupils Alicia Little, left, and Pharima Atchariyakorn. Picture: Em Fitzgerald PhotographyHighbury Fields GCSE pupils Alicia Little, left, and Pharima Atchariyakorn. Picture: Em Fitzgerald Photography

Islington Council leader Cllr Richard Watts and the mayor of Islington, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, visited two of the borough’s schools to congratulate pupils on results day (August 20).

Cllr Watts, who went to Highbury Fields School, said: “Speaking to students today about their achievements at the end of a long summer of uncertainty was both humbling and inspiring.

“These young people have the power and purpose to become leaders in their field – whether it’s business, medicine, e-commerce, law, music, media or anything they put their mind to.”

He said last-minute delays of BTEC results is a “further wrench for many of our young people who were hoping to end months of uncertainty and stress”.

Jacob Potter. Picture: Central Foundation Boys’ SchoolJacob Potter. Picture: Central Foundation Boys’ School

“This comes on the back of a series of utterly shambolic U-turns and mixed messages from government before and after the A Level results last week,” Cllr Watts added.

“The government seem blind to the gravity and consequences of their ham-fisted approach on both the mental health and the future aspirations of our young people.”

He met Highbury Fields School pupil and budding surgeon Mia Folkes Pawlowski, who will study chemistry, biology and psychology at A Level.

Her peer Pharima Atchariyakorn will take A Levels in chemistry, biology and psychology after getting two 9s, five 8s and a 7.

Seni Balagan. Picture: Central Foundation Boys’ SchoolSeni Balagan. Picture: Central Foundation Boys’ School

The world of medical research beckons for Kissakye Kigongo, who will take biology, chemistry, physics and geography at A Level: “I think I’d like to go into immunology or something to do with diseases, on the research side,” she said.

Meanwhile, Alicia Little did better than she hoped and will take maths, biology, chemistry and history A Levels.

“I thought I might be downgraded, but I’m pleasantly surprised and I’m relieved – it’s a weight off my chest,” she said. “I’ve always thought of medicine as a profession, but I quite like history as well, so I’m combining what I want to do and also what I like to do – that’s my strategy in life.”

At Central Foundation Boys’ School, Mayor Ismail met students including Seni Balagan, who is working towards his dream of becoming a psychologist after achieving six GCSEs at grade 6 and three at 5.

Dylan Gregory is applying for college with a 9 in geography, four 8s and 7s each, and a 6; and Jacob Potter said he was “feeling good” after achieving a brace of grade 9s across the board.

He is heading to the Sixth Form at Camden School for Girls to study maths, further maths, English and history.

Cllr Ismail said: “Talking to students today it was clear that, despite the uncertainty surrounding this year’s grades and the inevitable stress that comes with it, they have great strength of character and should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.

“I wish them and all of our young people the very best of luck in their next steps.”

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who were unable to take their exams.

“We worked with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible model, but it is clear that the process of allocating grades has resulted in more inconsistency and unfairness than can be reasonably resolved through an appeals process.”

He apologised for any “distress” caused.

Teens can get in touch with the council’s Progress Team for advice and information on 020 7527 7031 all summer.

You may also want to watch:


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Islington Gazette