Students across Barnet have been receiving their A-Level results today but with grades determined in a different way this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. With exams cancelled this year because of Coronavirus, pupils have this year been allocated their results based on their anticipated grades along with a range of things such as previous classwork, homework, results in assignments and mock exams.
A socially distanced celebration: Students from The Compton School jump for joy after receiving their results
Schools and colleges have been asked to provide exam boards with two pieces of information for each subject: the grade they believe each pupil would have achieved if teaching had continued and the ranking order of students by performance at each grade. Due to the new marking process, these grades will not be used to obtain a school average or a Barnet average as in previous years. However, Barnet A-Level results have consistently been in the top five per cent nationally over the last few years.
Councillor David Longstaff, Chairman of Barnet Council’s Children Education and Safeguarding Committee, said: “I would like to wish every student receiving their A-level results the very best for the future. Results day is certainly very different this year but it should take nothing away from the tremendous amount of hard work pupils have put into their studies.
“Recent months will no doubt have been quite unsettling for some students and it is important to highlight that there is support out there if needed. We have details on a range of help available, including free online counselling services, on our website. I would also like pass on my thanks to all the teaching and schools staff for their hard work and dedication during what has been a very difficult time.”
Among those receiving their results this year were students from The Compton School in North Finchley and Bishop Douglass School in East Finchley.
Basmah Mohamed (The Compton), aged 18, said: “I’ve been feeling rather overwhelmed, mixed emotions both excited and worried at the same time. I feel like there has been a lot of panic, but everything has turned out OK in the end. I received an A in English Literature, and Bs in Sociology and Politics. I’ve taken my insurance offer for Kings College London to read English Literature. My plans haven’t changed, I have always aspired to be an English teacher, so I’m pleased I can continue my chosen career. My mum is a teacher and she has been my inspiration.”
Tinisha Christie (Bishop Douglass) achieved an A* English Literature, A* in Psychology and A for History. She said: "It was a journey but the school helped me get through it. I am grateful to my teachers because they pushed me and made me challenge myself and believe I could do it."
Michelle Henderson, the Head of School, said: “These results are a testament to her incredible work ethic. Along her school journey she often didn't believe in herself. She was also our highest GCSE attainer in 2018. Despite the fact that on some occasions she became overwhelmed by A-levels, she kept diligent throughout. She will be taking up her place to study Psychology at Birmingham University.”
For the first time, exam boards are using information provided by schools and colleges to standardise students’ grades with the aim of making sure the results are as fair as possible. It will mean that average grades across the country will not be significantly higher or lower than in previous or future years. Grades awarded today will have the same status and be just as valid as grades awarded in any other year and will be accepted by universities, colleges, apprenticeship providers and employers.
Schools across Barnet have shared some of their successes with us:
Evelyn Forde (headteacher of Copthall School) commented: “This has been a momentous year for all students and I am immensely proud of the achievements of every single sixth form student at Copthall. Despite the challenges and uncertainties they faced with school closure in March, our students have received good results today which will enable them to progress onto their next phase of education. Progression routes include:
- Queen Mary to study Midwifery, Nursing & Bio Chemistry
- Leeds to study Biological Sciences
- Sussex to study Geography
- An apprenticeship with TfL
We wish them all the very best!”
Neil Enright (headmaster of Queen Elizabeth’s School) commented: “Our Year 13 leavers are a truly excellent cohort of Elizabethans who have shone brightly over the years, accruing great success in public examinations and securing places at many of the leading universities on both sides of the Atlantic, including Oxbridge. Their results today reflect their consistent excellence: they should be proud of what they have achieved over their seven years at the School and look forward with confidence to the next stage of their lives.”
And St. Andrew the Apostle, a free school which opened on the North London Business Park 7 years ago, had their first set of A Level and BTEC results.
Headteacher Michael Vassiliou commented “At St Andrew the Apostle School, students, staff and parents are celebrating our first ever set of A Level and BTEC grades, awarded to students in our founding cohort. We are very proud of the accomplishments of all our students. The grades achieved reflect just how hard students and staff members have worked to achieve these outcomes. As Headteacher, I would like to thank publicly all involved: the students in our founding year group, their parents, and the staff at our school. The collective success demonstrates not only how continuity in education is so important for successful outcomes but also how our community embodies our motto: Ever to Excel.”
Support for students
The Barnet Council website has a range of information on the support available to young people including Kooth, a free, anonymous and 24/7 online counselling service for young people between ages 11 and 24. For more information visit: www.kooth.com
There is also a wide range of resources for young people such as podcasts, videos and information on wellbeing workshops available on the Barnet Council website: www.barnet.gov.uk/backtoschool
In addition, in order to minimise the impact of Covid-19 and the school closure period on the advice and support given to students during their transition to their next stage of learning or employment Barnet has produced a Year 11,12 and 13 Transitions Strategy this year. This provides all students in these year groups with the support to make informed choices about their pathways next year and are fully supported to make those transitions successfully and show the resilience needed to stay on their selected pathway in order to maximise their potential achievement.
The Barnet Education and Skills Post 16 Team are running events on the 20th, 21st and 24th August to help students to find a place in education, employment and training. For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org