A Level Results Day 2023: Celebrations at UCS Hampstead

This morning Year 13 pupils at UCS Hampstead were celebrating their richly deserved successes and eagerly looking forward to their next steps in life beyond Frognal.

For this much-loved and admired cohort of UCS pupils, now UCS alumni, this year’s A Levels were their first formally sat public examinations following the cancellation of their GCSEs in 2021. Their resilience, dedication and ambition will live long in the memories of their teachers. Very impressively, 73 pupils scored straight A*–As. Meanwhile, 27% of grades awarded were an A* and 72% of grades an A* or A, with 93% of all grades at A*–B.

A natural byproduct of the school’s emphasis on intellectual curiosity and academic enrichment is that UCS pupils go on to undertake an exciting variety of undergraduate courses that truly reflect their academic passions. This year’s courses include Computer Science with AI, Neuroscience, Song Writing, Cognitive Science and Aerospace Engineering alongside more traditional offerings like PPE, Natural Sciences, Medicine and Mathematics.

Destination institutions include Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial, Edinburgh and St Andrews. As UCS further hones its specialism in overseas applications, 10 UCS pupils received offers, some alongside highly prestigious scholarships, from American universities including Duke University, the University of Miami and New York University.

Every prospective medic holding an offer met the conditions for their first-choice university. One such pupil was Maddie Childs who achieved 2 A*s and an A in Biology, History and Chemistry respectively. Maddie is now deciding whether she will accept her offer from Nottingham University or take up a place offered by the University of Auckland. She effused: “I am just so excited. The build-up to receiving the results was worse than actually opening them; I was listening to Taylor Swift this morning who calmed me down! I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better experience at UCS. It’s amazing to end on such a high today.”

Husam Abdalla was another medic celebrating this morning. Husam joined UCS in the Sixth Form and is heading to Oxford to study Medicine having scored a clean sweep of A*s in Chemistry, Biology and Maths. Reflecting on the support available to aspiring doctors at UCS, Husam said: “Everything from mock interviews, weekly Maths sessions before school and BMAT preparation helped.” And his advice to anyone considering such an ambitious application is simply to go for it: “I don’t think fear of not getting in should hold you back. Just go for it and try your best! If you decide to do something, put your all into it.”

Joining Husam at Oxford this autumn is Issy Lesser, who will begin her course in Material Sciences following her stunning achievement of 4 A*s in Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths. Issy will also combine her studies with a choral scholarship and she explained how she cried tears of joy this morning and cannot wait for the next step. “I’m very, very excited, I cried too! I’m excited for everything that’s to come, especially the course and the tutorials.”

James Abrahams, also heading to Oxford but to study German, was awarded A*, A, A in Politics, German and History. He spoke about the opportunities to get involved in student life that await him. “I’m going to start a new life which is bittersweet having been at UCS since Year 3! However I’m excited to get into student politics and the Oxford Union. It’s going to be brilliant.”

A clear theme throughout the celebrating pupils’ reflections was the instrumental support they received from their teachers and each other this year. Rudy Krempel joined UCS in the Sixth Form and is delighted to be heading to Manchester University to study Physics after getting A*s in Chemistry, Maths and Physics and an A in Further Maths. Rudy explained how at UCS “you can really learn from other people, rebound off them in lessons, have a proper dialogue with them, debate and practise. I learn so well this way, especially with a bit of friendly competition. I’m excited about continuing this way of learning at university and for some really hard Maths!”

Maddie echoed Rudy’s comments by saying “what’s really special about UCS is the togetherness. I could go to anyone for help and often found myself texting friends about Chemistry late into the evening. Everyone is always there for you.”

Minnat Mohammed, Head Girl, was also celebrating with friends on the front steps of Frognal this morning and her words summed up what has been a joyful day for so many. “Today feels like the culmination of the whole two years,” she said. “From the start it’s been amazing, I’m super happy. It really feels like the end of something special.”

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