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Students celebrate exam success

Students at Islington’s Sixth Form Consortium (IC6) have set the standard yet again with more students hitting the top grades to beat the national average.
An impressive 82 per cent of exam grades were A*-C, up by 2 percentage points on last year and 49 per cent of A level entries were graded at A*-B, an increase of 5 percentage points.
For the fifth year running, the overall pass rate in A level and equivalent exams was 99 per cent, also beating the national average.
The consortium is made up of students from Central Foundation Boys' School, Highbury Fields, St Aloysius College and Highbury Grove schools. Many students achieved the necessary grades to secure places at their first choice university, with prestigious Russell Group universities such as Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, Southampton, Durham and LSE among them.
Paul Smith, IC6 principal, said: “Hearing the students’ success stories at IC6 reveals some truly inspiring and humbling tales of determination and achievement.
“I am so proud of our A level students, the vast majority of whom have gained the grades they need to take the next step towards a fulfilling career. I wish them all the very best of luck as they look to a bright future.”
Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, met students as they picked up their results at Highbury Grove and Highbury Fields schools this morning. He said: “My warmest congratulations to everyone who received their exam results today.
“I have been impressed by the students I have met; it just shows that going to an Islington school is a great step towards achieving your goals in life.
“A good education is vital to give our young people the best chance of following their dreams and moving on to higher education, training or employment.”
Behind the statistics there were some fantastic individual performances too.
Highbury Grove School student Caitlin Hogan will study in Chicago after successfully competing with 2,200 applicants to win one of just 175 sponsored places.
Caitlin, who also had an offer from Cambridge University, plumped for Chicago after gaining an A*, two As and a B at A level, said she was drawn to US universities because of their liberal arts education system, adding: “I can't wait to start at the University of Chicago and be immersed in American culture."
Otto Sumray gained two A*s and an A grade at Central Foundation Boys’ School, taking him to study maths at the Oxford University, while Tsz Hey Lam achieved an A*, two As and a B. He will be going on to study computing science at University College London.
Other success stories at Highbury Grove include Francesca Gallio, 18, from Bow. She was surprised to land As in history and biology and a B in music, and will now study history at Birmingham. “I did not expect it,” she said. “I cried when I realised I was going because I had convinced myself I hadn’t got in. It has been a pretty good morning for me!”
Guohong Xu, 18, from Walthamstow, is a step closer to achieving his dream of being a toy designer after achieving the maximum possible triple star distinction in his art and design BTEC, on top of an A grade in AS Chinese. He is going on to study product design at Middlesex University.
There were more smiles at Highbury Fields School, where Safia Ahmadzai, 18, from Archway, will go on study sociology at LSE. She received As in sociology, psychology and a B in English Literature, having arrived in the UK from Afghanistan aged seven not knowing a word of English.
Staff at the school encouraged Safia to take extra English and maths lessons after hours, and she has also taken advantage of internships with the Mitsubishi investment bank and the Social Mobility Foundation. She is the first person in her family to go to university.
She said: “My parents are delighted. I checked the offer on my phone first but I didn’t believe it, so then I checked on the computer and then on my laptop! I want to go into the civil service or charity work, helping young people especially in deprived areas because that relates to me.”
Fellow student Dilan Ciftci, 19, will be heading to Durham University to study sociology after deciding to retake a year to get the results she knew she was capable of.
She left the school today with As in sociology and Turkish, a B in product design and D in biology. “It did pay off,” she said. “I applied to five Russell Group universities and got offers from them all. I got an email from Durham this morning and was screaming in the middle of the street and like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ I wasn’t expecting it so that’s why it was so exciting.”