GCSE results day 2018: Hackney New School celebrates first cohort’s top grades
- Credit: Emma Bartholomew
Teachers and pupils wore beaming smiles at Hackney New School this morning as they found out how they’d done in the first set of GCSEs taken at the free school.
The Gazette dropped by at the school in Kingsland Road, Haggerston, to speak to the first cohort of pupils about how they’d found new 9-1 grading system.
Star pupil Hannah Watkins Ray was thrilled with the eight 9s and two 8s that she’d managed to bag.
“I couldn’t have done any more work,” she said. “I’ve done my best. I was hoping for 8s and 7s, but to get this was amazing.”
She’s got a place at Camden School for Girls to study art, geography and maths A-levels.
Tibor Thursfield was chuffed with the four 8s he got in biology, history, physics and chemistry – but even more pleased with the 7 he picked up in art.
“At one point I was predicted a 4,” he said. “For my exam we went down the road and picked up a dumped fridge from Kingsland High Street. When we got it back to the school I realised there was blood dropping off the bottom and it stunk. I wrote angry political messages in it, in an angry young man, fist-shaking, kind of way. I had great fun doing art.”
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George Manners was also pleased with his art result, and is looking forward to studying it in the future.
“I tried dead hard and didn’t come out with what I wanted, but I can still go to the Brit school to do triple art A-level,” he said.
Dylan Strettell was over the moon with a 6 in English and a 5 in maths and is going to study at Stoke Newington School or Camden School for Girls.
“The new marking system stressed out a lot of people because to get a good grade is higher, but they made it scarier than it actually was,” she said.
Adora Tuku–Young added: “I’m happy with my marks. I was worrying way too much about it. I’m proud of everyone else and we all did amazingly.”
She wants to study photography, English and history at A-level and eventually be a photographer magazine.
Deputy head Brian McGowan told the Gazette: “It’s a cyclical thing and we have gone back to the 80s when everything was based on exams. It’s not easy. There’s a lot of pressure and these young people have done incredibly well, as we have as a school.”
He added: “Part of the confusion is we are still harking back to the old grading system. Within five years we will have forgotten about the old grading system, but to prove a point, a 7 is still the equivalent of an A*, and an 8 and a 9 is like a “star super bloody star”. A 6 is like a high B to middle A, and 7 is A to A*.
“I would still say anyone getting 6 and above is doing well, 4 is the minimum pass and below 4 you are in danger territory.
“The bottom line is those who worked did well. People who don’t work don’t do well.
“That’s why Gove introduced the reforms. You had people doing the bare minimum and walking away with seven or eight grade Bs and Cs, and you can’t do that now. You really can’t.”
Deputy head Ian Patterson was “relieved” to see so many smiles on faces this morning.
“There is a lot of relief on the part of everyone in the school because of the uncertainty this year, and happiness for the teachers who put a lot of hard work and the students who invested themselves in their education.
“A lot of school leaders were apprehensive and change is always a challenge, particularly in schools where you are working with children.
“There was a lot that was unpredictable this year particularly with the new grading system but we are really pleased, particularly with our hardest working students, and the grades they’ve come out with.”