22nd August 2019 — Perseverance and hard work were today recognised at St Helen and St Katharine, as the School celebrated the achievements of students in their I/GCSE exams. 96% of grades were at 9–6, 66% at 9–8 and over a third of the year gained at least eight 9 or 8 grades.
Headmistress Mrs Rebecca Dougall acknowledged the incredible dedication from all students. “GCSEs are one of the first big tests for students in their educational journey and it’s our job not just to prepare them to retain vast amounts of knowledge but to cultivate the right attitude towards hard work and its rewards. Our approach is always to aim for 8s and celebrate the 9s when they come. Today the students got their reward with a fantastic set of results.”
It has been a long wait for results over the summer and students have found different ways to keep themselves busy. Fiona Steer, who gained ten 9s, has spent a week doing work experience at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, working with young children. She was delighted with her GCSE results and said: “The support here has been great and the teachers have been so helpful.” In September she will start studying English, Drama and Geography at A-level and also wants to do an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in linguistics to explore how technology is changing the English language.
Navika Jangra also gained ten 9s and she and her mother were clearly overjoyed and relieved, saying that it had been a long wait – but worth waiting for. When asked how she was going to celebrate her results, Navika replied: “Breathe!”
For many St Helen’s families the day was the culmination of a summer of public exams. Several pairs of sisters were taking A-levels and GCSEs together which, as many parents attested, made for a rather busy summer.
The Sayeed family are celebrating Martha’s excellent GCSE results and older sister Emily’s place at Cambridge University to study Philosophy following last week’s A-level results. Mrs Sayeed said: “It has been helpful that both our daughters were doing exams at the same time. They went through the build-up and planning and revision together, and supported each other. The School has been very impressive, knowing the drill, staying calm and managing expectations for students.”
Mr and Mrs Kenrick, parents of Gen, who excelled in her GCSEs, and Ellie, who received her A-level results last week and is off to Newcastle University to study Medicine said: “We’re very proud, it’s been a great team effort between us, the School and the girls. The personalised support from St Helen’s has been absolutely wonderful.” It has been an eventful and emotional summer for the family – in addition to two sets of public exams and waiting for results, they have also celebrated a 20th wedding anniversary as well as the girls’ 16th and 18th birthdays.
The students now look forward to joining St Helen’s Sixth Form. Mrs Dougall said: “We are very excited to see how these young women will now grow as Sixth Form students, growing their independence and following their passions.”