Nervous Hackney students collect their GCSE results

Anxious Hackney students were among the thousands of jittery year 11 students across the country who finally found out their GCSE results this morning – after an agonising wait through the summer holidays.

It’s been predicted that many schools might not do as well as in previous years due to tougher pass rate targets – but there were plenty of relieved smiles and not a few tears throughout the borough earlier.

The schools are still working out how well they did, by measuring which percentage of students got at least five A* to C grades, including English and maths.

But teachers at Cardinal Pole School, in Kenworthy Road, south Hackney, are predicting 66 per cent of their pupils reached that target – an improvement of 16 per cent on last year’s figures.

Natalia Little, 16, of Homerton High Street, sobbed with joy as she ripped open her manilla envelope. She made the grade with mostly As and Bs, with two A*s.

“I’m so happy,” she told the Gazette. “I wasn’t here very much because of health reasons, so it was really hard work. I’m really pleased. It’s definitely down to my mum – she kept saying, ‘you’ve got to keep trying and trying, Talia!’

“I haven’t even rung her to tell her yet – she’s going to be so happy!”

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Natalia, who also made a point of thanking her English teacher, plans to take A-levels at college and hopes to be a psychotherapist one day.

Delighted associate headteacher, Jane Heffernan, said: “All involved in securing these achievements shared in the delight and pride of the students.

“We recognise that it was the support of the whole school community, students, staff, parents and governors working together that has secured this.”

For more on this year’s GCSE results, including pictures and a breakdown analysing the local trends, see next Thursday’s Hackney Gazette.