Delight at record GCSE results for UCS

This morning, Year 11 pupils at UCS Hampstead celebrated brilliant and richly deserved GCSE results. In the school’s best ever set of publicly examined GCSE results, 53% of grades were grade 9 and 77% were graded at 8–9. Remarkably, 16 pupils scored a clean sweep of grade 9s while 43 secured a set of grades 8–9.

Headmaster Mark Beard commented: “I am delighted for this particular cohort, who very much deserve such fine outcomes. Along with their peers across the nation, they were thrown into lockdowns and remote learning at a sensitive moment in their lives, and so it is lovely to see their resilience and determination win through. They are also a thoughtful group of young people, generous with their contributions to the wider life of the school and to the local community. I look forward to seeing how they flourish further during their Sixth Form years.”

Today, these brilliant young people could reflect on the academic and pastoral support which has characterised their experience of a UCS education thus far. They also shared what they are most excited about as they move into the UCS Sixth Form in September, where they will be joined by 60 girls starting their UCS journeys.

Samir Rahman, who gained grade 9s in every subject, spoke of the support and care of his teachers as well as the fun that he and his friends had during their time in the Middle School: “I’m so grateful to my subject teachers but also for the pastoral care. The encouragement and care of everyone certainly contributed to our grades. We also had a lot of fun over the last two years, not just in lessons but in our co-curricular activities. I played first team cricket throughout the year, even during the exam season, and it was brilliant.”

The school’s focus on offering a rich and broad learning experience is reflected in Samir’s aspirations for Sixth Form study. In September, Samir will begin his A Levels at UCS and he explained: “Sixth Form is an exciting opportunity to delve more into the subjects I am passionate about. I’m taking Maths, Chemistry and Biology along with German. I wanted to keep the breadth of study I experienced at GCSE by continuing to learn a language.”

Other pupils explained how they were guided through their revision for so many subjects. James Casparie was awarded straight grade 9s and reflected: “My Deme Warden has always been on hand to support me. He made sure that there was always somewhere to go and get some space for quiet revision when I needed it.”

Nathan Diamond received nine grade 9s and one grade 8; he revealed how the school helps pupils learn research-based techniques in order to revise more effectively: “Something unique to UCS is the way they prepare you to revise and teach you how to focus. Around the school there are Revision and Focus Toolkits that suggest ways of revising and ‘getting in the zone’.”

Jaren Ziegler was also celebrating a full set of grade 9s this morning. Jaren’s achievement is two-fold, however, given he balanced GCSE revision with preparing for the BBC’s Young Musician competition. He said: “I’ve never pushed myself so hard as I did over the GCSE period. I wasn’t expecting to receive straight 9s but it was so worth it!”

Jaren is a highly-valued musician in the UCS Music scene and he spoke appreciatively about this, as well as the support of his teachers, commenting: “The school has given me lots of performance opportunities which have been so useful, as well as being flexible with my programme of study. The main thing here is that the teachers are so committed and you can always ask them for help. In the days before my exams I was submitting past papers and receiving them back the next day. They’re always here to help.”

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