There were jubilant scenes across Barking and Dagenham today as A-Level students collected their results.
Barking and Dagenham pupils achieved some top results today, with many young people confirming their places at prestigious universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, Birmingham University, York University and Imperial College London as well as some of the country’s top employers and global companies.
Provisional data indicates that, borough-wide, just under 80% of pupils achieved A*-C grades, with nearly a quarter receiving A* and A grades and over half achieving A*-B grades.
Following the cancellation of GCSE exams due to the coronavirus pandemic, these A-Levels were the first formal exams this group of students have taken since Year 6, and the first time A-Level exams have taken place since 2019.
It was a successful year for students from Barking Abbey School, who doubled the school’s 2019 A-Level results, with 21% of A-Level grades achieved being A* or As and two students achieving all A* grades. The school’s university hopefuls were happy too - 92% of students are expected to start a university placement in September.
Over at Eastbury Community School, in Barking, 11 students received three A* or A grades and 70% achieved A* to C grades. Pupils are now going on to study a range of subjects from Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science to Medicine and Biochemistry at some of the country’s best higher education institutions.
Robert Clack School, in Dagenham, saw five of their students accepted on to placements at Oxbridge, with many more accepted into Russell Group universities. In total, over 160 Robert Clack pupils were accepted into university, with 33% achieving the ‘Gold Standard’ of grades AAB or above.
Elsewhere in Dagenham, Jo Richardson Community School recorded another good year for their pupils. One hardworking student is off to Cambridge and another is going to King’s College London, whilst four students achieved the highest mark of D*D*D* in their BTEC and CTEC courses.
Several students at Riverside School, in Barking, achieved the highest possible grade of D*D*D* in their BTEC degrees, with two of them receiving a scholarship to play basketball in Florida, USA. Other Riverside students are going on to distinguished universities such as Oxford, King’s College London and Brighton University.
All Saints Catholic School, in Dagenham, saw 25% of pupils achieve A* and A grades and 60% achieved grades A*-B. They reported that their average grades were higher than the last time A-Level pupils sat their exams in person, in 2019.
Vocational BTEC results were also released today, with both Barking Abbey and Robert Clack having three students achieving the highest possible grade of Triple Distinction*.
University isn’t the only destination for the borough’s young people – with many going on to prestigious work placements and apprenticeships with firms such as Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Fords and Savills.
The results also had an international element to them, with one Barking Abbey pupil being accepted on to a fully funded scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania worth over £95,000 a year, and six more being accepted on to American sports scholarships.
Sydney Russell School students also excelled this year, with over 80% of their students achieving three A*-C grades.
Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said: “These pupils have faced some remarkable challenges during their time at school and we’re really proud of all of the effort and hard work they’ve put into these brilliant grades.
“Some of the best universities in the world and some of the most successful businesses will be welcoming students from our borough and I think that goes to show that we’re giving our young people the best start in life here in Barking and Dagenham.
“I would also like to thank all of the school staff across the borough, whose hard work has made today possible.”
Roger Leighton, the ASCL headteacher association representative for the borough, said: “A-Level and Vocational results day is always a special moment, but this year’s cohort has had a particularly difficult lead-in – this was the year group that was unable to sit their GCSE exams as normal back in 2020 and have endured continuing disruptions during their Sixth Form years.
“It is therefore particularly pleasing to see such strong results across Barking and Dagenham, with the vast majority of students achieving their preferred University or Apprenticeship destination.”
Andrew Roberts, Headteacher of Riverside School, said: “This year’s results are exceptional by any year's standards, our young people have endured and overcome the immense challenges of the last three years and excelled.
“We wish them well in their next exciting phase of life."
Benjamin, an Eastbury Community School student who booked his place at Birmingham University to study Physiotherapy, said: “It was tough and I did try my best.
“I’m very happy with my results, I feel like I put in the work and I deserve what I got.”
Sahibah, a pupil at Eastbury Community School who bagged a place at Warwick University to study History, said: “It was difficult at the start, with lockdown and remote teaching.
“I really put the hours in at home and I’m glad that the work paid off.”