Meet the A-team

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY CHAR­LOTTE OLIVER

YOU KNOW the feel­ing: sleep­less night, sweaty palms, un­pro­voked hys­te­ria. It must be Re­sults Day.

Last Thurs­day’s A-level marks came and went in a flurry of brown pa­per en­velopes, de­lighted stu­dents, and one preva­lent cry: “We did it!”

In a year when A-level grades went down na­tion­ally by 3 per cent, and the coun­try’s over­all pass rate marginally fell, Jewish stu­dents achieved un­prece­dented suc­cess.

East Bar­net’s JCoSS re­ported top marks in its first year sit­ting A-lev­els, with 70 per cent of stu­dents at­tain­ing a B grade or above.

Head­teacher Pa­trick Mo­ri­arty said: “Dur­ing the two years th­ese stu­dents have been with us, they have worked hard, to­gether with their teach­ers, to pro­duce ex­cel­lent re­sults.

“In a large num­ber of cases they have out-per­formed their orig­i­nal tar­gets, and we are very proud of them.”

JFS also had cause for cel­e­bra­tion, an­nounc­ing that a record 16 pupils were tak­ing up places to study at Ox­ford or Cam­bridge, and a fur­ther six were off to med­i­cal school. Ev­ery­one passed — half at grades A or A* and 80 per cent at grade B or higher.

“It is so re­ward­ing for us to see the stu­dents’ joy,” said as­sis­tant head Si­mon Ap­ple­man. “It is their hard work, and the hard work of their teach­ers, that shines through to­day.”

He added that the Ken­ton school’s suc­cess rested on “pro­vid­ing sup­port not just aca­dem­i­cally, but pas­torally and so­cially, in or­der to sup­port stu­dents’ learn­ing, lead­ers h i p a n d Jewish iden­tity”.

Im­manuel cel­e­brated a full pass rate, with 62 per cent achiev­ing an A or A*. The Bushey school com­mended its art, pho­tog­ra­phy, He­brew, French and so­ci­ol­ogy de­part­ments, whose stu­dents all swept the board with grade A or above.

In Bore­ham­wood, Yavneh Col­lege an­nounced its stu­dents had gar­nered the “best A-level re­sults in the his­tory of the school”. More than 98 per cent passed with a grade C or above, while 63 per cent re­ceived A or A*.

Among the school’s high-achiev­ers, spe­cial men­tion was given to Daniel Green­blatt, who achieved four A*s, and Joshua Peters, Aron Carr and Sam Levy, who gained three A*s each.

Head­teacher Spencer Lewis said the re­sults were “ex­cep­tional. A-lev­els are ex­tremely dif­fi­cult and th­ese grades are the re­sult of a lot of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion.”

At Has­monean, 80 per cent of stu­dents cel­e­brated pass­ing with a grade B or higher, while a quar­ter achieved three As or more. The Hen­don school’s vo­ca­tional pro­gramme, which of­fers BTEC cour­ses for sub­jects such as health and so­cial care, also per­formed well.

Ex­ec­u­tive head David Meyer said the school’s achieve­ments were “es­pe­cially no­table, given the changes in the A-level cur­ricu­lum which caused many schools to ex­pect a dip in the re­sults.

“Our stu­dents and their teach­ers are a credit to the school and the whole com­mu­nity,” he added.

Has­monean pupil Yair Hal­ber­stadt con­fessed he was “re­lieved” with his re­sults — a mod­est un­der­state­ment, con­sid­er­ing he gar­nered five A*s in maths, fur­ther maths, ad­di­tional fur­ther maths, physics and chem­istry.

In Red­bridge, King Solomon High act­ing head­teacher Dr Paul Doherty said the im­pres­sive re­sults made him “de­ter­mined to en­cour­age more stu­dents to ap­ply to Rus­sell Group uni­ver­si­ties and Oxbridge. I’m sure that we have a high enough cal­i­bre.” The school saw 87 per cent of its stu­dents pass with a C or above, while 53 per cent achieved A*, A and B grades.

“I came in late in the year,” said Dr Doherty, who was ap­pointed act­ing head in May. “As soon as I ar­rived, I felt an air of schol­ar­ship, as well as the

Sam Bo­dan­sky, a stu­dent at the Gram­mar School At Leeds (GSAL), knew he was set­ting him­self a big task when he sat six A-lev­els in three weeks.But the 18-year-old took it in his stride, tot­ting up full marks in all but one pa­per, and is now off to study maths at Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don. “I like having a range of chal­lenges,” Sam re­vealed.

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