20th August 2020 — These talented and committed students have shown remarkable resilience in the face of the challenges and uncertainties surrounding the conclusion of their Upper School studies.
As the full scale of the Covid-19 pandemic was becoming apparent, the girls left our School campus in March to re-join their families in their homes in the UK and around the world, uncertain of what lay ahead. Far from taking their ‘feet off the pedal’, this determined group of girls turned their attention firmly to their future studies.
Through our virtual school, Digital Downe House, they remained engaged and dedicated, immersing themselves in preparations for Sixth Form with a comprehensive 6-week online bridging programme designed to support the transition to the next phase of their education. The programme included two double sessions per week in their chosen A level subjects as well as a HERS (Higher Education and Research Skills) course, culminating in a virtual Introduction to Sixth Form Week. This exciting and varied week of activities introduced the girls to the academic, pastoral and extra-curricular life in the Sixth Form at Downe House. Of course, the week was conducted entirely remotely but kept the girls engaged and, importantly, entertained whilst learning some new skills that will ensure they are fully prepared to join us for the Lower Sixth in September.
Statistically, the cohort has excelled, with 71% of all GCSE/IGCSE grades achieved at the very highest 9-8 (A*) grade, and 98% of all results graded 9-6 (A*-B). There are many personal triumphs behind the statistics and we congratulate all our students for their success. We must also mark the achievements of those girls whose exceptional dedication has seen them achieve grade 9 (A*)† in all their subjects: Deborah (Ayanfe), Lucy, Hoi (Danna), Freya, Honor, Antonia, Alice, Amelia, Poppy and Ashley.
Headmistress, Mrs Emma McKendrick said "The GCSE pupils of 2020 deserve the greatest credit for the excellent results that they achieved. They worked extremely hard and consistently, throughout their courses and the fact that they were a group that really enjoyed learning shines through. The grades they have reflect their work ethic, the way in which they worked collaboratively with their teachers and of course they also enjoyed the support of their families. What is perhaps most impressive is that their exam results tell only a part of the picture about what they have achieved. When these successes are set alongside the many other areas of school and wider community life to which they have contributed, they are all the more noteworthy. I pay huge tribute to these wonderful young people who can move on to the next stage of their educational journey with confidence."
† - Grade 9, the very highest level, which exceeds the A* standard of the old GCSEs