Fulham Sixth Formers Excel Despite Tougher Grading

Many win places at top universities and one joins Premier League club

Lady Margaret School students celebrate their results
Lady Margaret School students celebrate their results

August 21, 2023

Sixth formers at schools in the Fulham area have achieved some outstanding results despite this year presenting candidates with a particular set of challenges.

For many it was the first time that they will have taken public exams as their GCSE marks were teacher-assessed and it was also the year that the education regulator chose to introduce tougher grading after more relaxed marking during the pandemic.

Despite this, Fulham Boys School pupil, Toma Kerac, achieved two A* grades and an A as well as an A* in his extended project qualification (EPQ), and will study Geography at Oxford University.

Toma, said, "I'm looking forward to the challenge and am extremely grateful to Fulham Boys School and all the staff that have supported me."

Titus Olivier, bagged three A* grades and will study Mathematics at Durham University next year.

Meanwhile, John Davison’s clean sweep of four A* grades has secured him a place reading Mathematics at UCL.

John Davison bagged four A*s

36 per cent of the Fulham Boys pupils got an A grade or higher, and 87 per cent of grades awarded were A* to C.

One Fulham Boys pupil who picked up his results has even signed for a Premier League football club.

“We are incredibly proud that our young men have fought hard to achieve and go beyond their potential,” said Headmaster David Smith. “Many have secured places at top universities.”

Fulham Boys students are heading on to some of the best universities around the UK – including Warwick, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff and many more.

Students of Fulham Cross Academy Sixth Form were greeted with a sea of green and pink balloons as they collected their A-level and BTEC results in Kingwood Road.

The STEM-specialist school achieved 100 per cent passes in A-Level results across Sport Sciences, Art, Engineering, and Health and Social Care.

“I am very happy because I never thought I would get these results,” said pupil Natalia Franca. “I thought my Health and Social Care results would be really bad, but no - I got a distinction.

“These results show that I worked really hard so now I can realise my dream which is to become a nurse. I’m going to start studying Nursing at Anglia Ruskin University next month.”

Mohammed Al-Maosawi, gained three B grades in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. He will be heading to Southampton University to study Biomedical Sciences.

Mustafa Sheikh also gained three B grades and will be going to Royal Holloway to study Computer Science.

“We are extremely proud of all of our Year 13 students today,” said Angela Thorpe, Head of Sixth Form.

“We’re really pleased with our BTEC results with a lot of our students reaching their target.

“These students began A-Level courses after significant setbacks in their GCSE studies through the COVID pandemic. They all persevered through and overcame many hurdles to get to where they are today.

“We’ve got about 20 per cent of our students into their first-choice university, and we are very proud and excited to see what the class of 2023 will achieve.”

Pupils at Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green will be starting a range of new courses at university later this year including Dentistry at Kings College London, Architectural Engineering at the University of Leeds, and Criminology at the University of Bath after getting the grades they needed.

One student even accepted an apprenticeship place at British Airways.

A fifth of the girls received at least three A or A* grades.

Overall, 80 per cent of the Year 13 class earned A* to B grades while in Physics, Drama, History of Art, Religious Studies, Spanish, French and Further Mathematics no student attained below a C grade.

The highest scoring subject was English Literature where eight students achieved an A*, followed by History where five pupils received an A*.

William Morris Sixth Form star, Agueda Coutinho, got an A* in Sociology, A in History and a B in Geography. She will go on to study History at Utrecht University.

Agueda Coutinho with her results
Agueda Coutinho with her results

Mary Berrisford, Principal at William Morris Sixth Form said, “We have been ecstatic about our exam results today. We've had some really, really pleased students in the building. 115 of our students have achieved their first place at university, and they've been so happy about it. We're just so pleased for all of our students who've done so exceedingly well this year. It's been glorious.”

There were also some outstanding performances at A-levels and BTECs and other vocational qualifications at Hammersmith & Fulham College, part of West London College, in Gliddon Road.

Qais Attaallah, 20, and Delina Kidane, 19, each achieved triple D* grades on their Applied Science BTEC – the highest grade possible.

Qais is set to go to Manchester University to study for a degree in Genetics, with plans to complete a Masters and potentially a PhD in Genetics. While Delina is off to Kingston University to study Biomedical Science.

Student, Iman El Masmoudi Garcia, who got D*DD, thanked her teachers for their support throughout her time at West London College.

“My teacher understood each student individually and helped them to do their best,” said the 19-year-old. “She encouraged me to express my ideas and pushed me to be better.”

Iman will study Accounting and Management at Queen Mary University of London.

Camol Bethel, 28, achieved distinctions across all six units of his Travel and Tourism qualification, bringing him one step closer to fulfilling his dream of working for Border Force.

“I like the idea of serving and protecting in a travel and tourism setting,” he explained.

Many more of the school’s creative minds received distinctions. From the Digital Design department Mariam Eish and Sara Dehbouzorgi, both 20, will study Interior Design and Architecture at Middlesex University, Renata Varga, is planning to kick off her fashion career with a gap year in Italy or South Korea and Elyana Guler, is set to study a foundation year in Fine Art at the City & Guilds of London Art School in Kennington. Creative Media Production Technology student Daniel Staszak will progress to Oxford Brookes University to study Digital Media Production.

James Taylor, Deputy Principal at West London College, added, “Level 3 Results Day is a tribute to the dedication of teachers, parents, and support networks in helping our learners to fulfil their potential and pursue their dreams.”

West London Free School (WLFS) students received their best set of A-level results ever and will be continuing their studies at some of the world’s best universities with over three quarters obtaining their first choice. Just under half of all grades are A* or A, and one in four students have achieved straight As and A*s. 48% were graded A* to A (compared with 45% in 2022), 77% were graded A* to B (compared with 73% in 2022) and 91% were graded A* to C (the same as 2022).

Bursary students from a disadvantaged background have achieved places to study at Durham University , University of Leeds and the University of Surrey, seven WLFS students will be attending Oxford or Cambridge, and one has achieved a place to study at both Columbia University in New York and Sciences Po in France.

Ben McLaughlin and Robert Peal, Joint Headteachers at the WLFS, have said, ‘We are absolutely thrilled that students at the WLFS have achieved our best ever set of A-level results, despite headlines suggesting that top grades would go down this year. This is an incredible achievement, about which our students, their families and everyone working at the School should be extremely proud. At the WLFS, we teach the values of hard work and highs standards, and these outcomes are the result.’

At Latymer Upper School there was a total of 233 A*s and 231 A grades with 93% of all grades being A*-B. 25 students recorded three or more straight A*s of which 7 achieved four of the very top grades.

89% of students at the school will now be going to their first-choice university, including Yale, Brown, Oxford and Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Imperial, LSE, St Andrew’s and UCL.

“This is the best set of results in ‘normal times’ ever achieved by Latymerians,” said the Head, Mr Goodhew. “I am absolutely thrilled for all of our students and staff, who have worked so hard over these last two years. This is wonderful recognition of their endeavours. This multi-talented year group are now going on to study a wide range of courses at some of the world’s leading universities both in the UK and abroad. ”

Among the students celebrating all A*s today is Matilda, who has achieved the highest marks in the country in both Chemistry and Biology A Level. She takes up her place at Imperial College to study Biological Sciences with Spanish.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Matilda,” Mr Goodhew continued. “For her to have achieved the highest mark in the country, in two subjects, is phenomenal. She fully deserves this accolade, which completes an exceptional year for her, having qualified for, and won Silver at the recent International Biology Olympiad.” Matilda will be joined at Imperial by Camille, who also got straight A*s and will be studying Microbiology.

Matilda (centre) with her teachers

“Our boys and girls have done incredibly well in STEM subjects and STEP papers, including Physics,” said Mr Goodhew. 40 students are now going on to study degree subjects in STEM. Like Matilda and Camille, Iris, Nina, Jasmine, Sofia, Ellen, Saskia, Olivia, Nikki and Louise all got straight A*s. Sofia now takes up a place at Cambridge (Jesus) to study Maths. After getting straight A*s Ellie will be studying Computer Science at Oxford (Worcester) as will Hugh (Balliol) and they will be joined there by School Vice Captain, Daniel from Chiswick who got straight A*s and will now study Physics (Merton) and Amitai (Wadham) taking Maths and Philosophy.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are also able to offer places at Latymer to children fleeing conflicts around the world. I’m absolutely delighted for Tymur who joined us from Ukraine and despite only studying for his A Levels for the last 8 months has achieved A, C and D in Music, Physics and Maths and will now go on to Tonmeister, on the best Sound Recording course in the country!”

Tymur Sabri only had eight months to study for his A Levels. Picture: Louise Kaye

Hammersmith Academy pupil, Safwan Uddin, who received four A* grades. He is now off to King’s College London to read Mathematics.

“Opening these results shocked me,” he said. “This moment reminded me of the many people that helped me in ways that easily go unnoticed such as that extra push that my teachers gave me, and the encouragement that my parents gave me the whole way through.”

Safwan will be joined by fellow Hammersmith Academy student, Sahra Abdi, who received an A* and two A grades, earning a place to study Medicine.

One of Ark Burlington Danes Academy top performers, Christian Casimir, got three A* grades in Economics, History and Maths and is going to study History, Politics and Economics at University College London.

“We are extremely proud of all our pupils who worked so hard and took their A-Levels this year,” said Cllr Alex Sanderson, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education.

“Students in H&F have once again earned top grades which means they can continue their journey to university and follow their aspirations.

“And those who didn’t get the results they needed should not worry. There is a chance to resit exams just as many pupils have done this year after being in a similar position. There are so many education and career opportunities ahead.

“None of the success would be possible without the tireless support of teachers, parents and school staff each year. We are eternally grateful for all their efforts to give our young people the best possible start in life.”

Nationally, the proportion of A or A* grades awarded dropped to 27.2% compared to a peak of 44.8% during the pandemic meaning that 100,000 fewer grades were given out at this level.

This brings the level of top grades closer to 2019, the year before Covid-19 when it was 25.4%.

UCAS says that, for the UK as a whole, 79% of those taking A Levels this year gained a place at their first-choice university.


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