Identical twins Safa and Imaan Saeed, who attend Withington Girls’ School, are celebrating today after mirroring each other’s impressive results in their GCSE exams.
The duo successfully secured top grades in all their subjects, notching up exactly the same tally, each attaining eight Grade 9s plus an A* with Distinction in Further Mathematics and an additional Grade 8. Their subjects were the same, apart from Safa taking Latin and Imaan studying Geography.
Picking up their results wearing matching outfits, the girls agreed: “We were worried that people would compare us but it’s amazing that we have ended up with the same grades in the same subjects. We couldn’t be happier.” And although the pair admit to some healthy competition between them, they say there was no sibling rivalry when it came to revising. “We studied together, tested each other - even on the subject we weren’t studying ourselves - and we kept each other motivated,” said Safa.
Whilst the 16-year-olds are enjoying their double exams success and have similar extracurricular interests such as Model United Nations, as to whether they are similar in personality, Imaan joked, “I’m organised and tidy, she’s much more messy than me!” and Safa commented, “We’re both academic but some people say I’m more of a geek than Imaan.”
Safa and Imaan - who joined WGS in the Junior School and whose two sisters also attended the School - are now looking forward to studying A-Levels in Withington’s Sixth Form. They have opted for three identical subjects; Mathematics, Chemistry and History, with Safa choosing Latin as her additional subject and Imaan preferring Economics. Both are hoping to pursue Law as a career in the future.
The girls’ mother, Dr Saika Saeed, was delighted with the outcome: “When the girls were very young, although they had been placed in separate classes in school, they were getting the same results in their work. As the years progressed this changed and their results were quite different, so today has really surprised us. We are obviously delighted but also very relieved as we were worried how it would work out if one had ended up being really happy with her results whilst the other hadn’t done quite as well.”
Having already had two older daughters study at Withington before going on to study at Oxford University, Dr Saeed added: “I could not be happier with the school. It’s small and the teachers really do know each child on an individual basis. They really get to know their weaknesses as well as their strengths and pick up on where they need support to help them overcome any difficulties.”
The Saeed girls’ excellent results have contributed to another exceptional year for Withington as the current Year 11 topped last year’s performance with 55% of papers overall securing the coveted Grade 9 or the top A* with Distinction in the Further Maths exam and more than 90% of grades at 9 to 7, comparable to A* to A in the pre-reformed grading system
Headmistress, Mrs Sarah Haslam, said: “Withington has a well-earned reputation as one of the top schools in the country in academic performance, as demonstrated by excellence across many subject areas in this year’s results, but our girls also achieve in so many other arenas. Thirty of this year’s Year 11s have completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award, for example, and when playing netball as U13s and U15s, nine of the girls played a part in winning two ISNC national titles and, as U16s in 2019, secured a third place in the highly competitive National Schools Netball tournament.”
The GCSE results follow the impressive 31% of A-Levels achieved at the top A* grade last week and 13 Withington students (including four 2018 leavers – among them Imaan and Safa’s older sister Elisha) set to start their studies at Cambridge and Oxford universities in the Autumn.