A-level results: Cambridge University success for Hackney girl

Grace Brown

Grace Brown - Credit: Archant

For one Hackney student, more than two years of poor health has made her A-level success all the sweeter.

This morning Grace Brown, 18, of Shakespeare Walk, found out that after fighting Glandular fever since she was 16, she has won a place at the University of Cambridge.

Her grades of an A* in Geography and two As in History and English-Literature have secured her a place to study Human, Social and Political Science at the country’s top University.

Grace said that the idea of applying to University was an intimidating prospect. “A year ago I had no concept of how to apply; the whole process was horribly daunting. No one in my family had ever done it before as I’m the first from my extended family to attend University.”

However the path to academic success was not an easy one for Grace, whose time at school has been blighted by Glandular Fever.


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The viral infection, which typically strikes young adults, can cause lengthy fevers and extreme tiredness.

“For much of my GCSEs and AS-levels I had Glandular Fever and I had tonsillitis five or six times. I couldn’t go into school and ended up doing all of my exam revision from home. Year 12 was exhausting; I would come home and fall straight asleep at 4pm”.

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Today’s results have marked a bumper year for Stoke Newington School, where Grace studied for her A-levels. Over 85% of students achieved top A* to C grades with most heading on to their first choice of University, an improvement on last year. The overall pass rate for the school’s pupils was an impressive 99% and four Stoke Newington students will be taking up places at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge this autumn.

School headteacher, Annie Gammon, said: “We are delighted and proud to see these brilliant achievements from all our sixth form students. They, and their teachers, have worked hard and deserve this success.

“There were fewer top grades at AS-level this year but this definitely seems to have been an effect of the changes in the exams across the country”.

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