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News18th August 2022

Ark students rise to the exam challenge with the support of their school

This year’s A level and BTEC exam-takers have faced unprecedented difficulties due to the pandemic, but their results today leave the Ark network proud. 

Hundreds of Ark students will take up university places or high-quality apprenticeships after achieving fantastic A level and BTEC results.

We are also delighted that 54 students will be awarded bursaries worth more than £760,000, helping them embrace their university experience. We are grateful to our private donors and bursary supporters, including: 

Venessa Willms, Ark’s Director of Education, said: 

“Today, as the A level and BTEC results are released, after three years of turbulence our outgoing 6th formers should feel proud of their achievements. Their hard work, determination and perseverance have certainly been rewarded.

I am also deeply proud of our schools and our staff. Throughout the pandemic and through this academic year, they have maintained a culture of aspiration and high expectation for every one of our students, regardless of background – and we see this in our results today.”

Andria Kamil – ABB

In 2019, Andria was made homeless, and when she was rehoused, she travelled from Walthamstow to Ark Putney every day. With support from teachers and her peers she attained excellent GCSE results. Today, Andria celebrates ABB in History, Psychology, and Sociology and is preparing to study Law at City University. Andria is also a recipient of Marshall Wace bursary worth £9,000.

Andria said, “This has been one of the biggest character development opportunities for me. I can honestly say I have learnt a lot about myself through my journey at Ark Putney. I experienced extreme economic struggles during my GCSEs having joined the school as a student with English as an additional language. My head of year really navigated me through this, and staff have continued to support me into 6th form, making me feel comfortable, safe and valued. I have built relationships here with people I won’t ever forget.”

Santiago Castillo – Distinction*, Distinction, Distinction, A

Santiago is the first generation in his family to head to university. He was on Ark’s Professional Pathway programme studying BTEC Sport and a Spanish A level and achieved Distinction*, Distinction, Distinction and an A in Spanish. He will now attend the University of Bath to study Sports Science.

Santiago said, “Challenge yourself and take risks. I can’t wait for university, particularly the chance to be independent, meet new people and broaden my horizons.”

Molly Goddard – Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction*

Molly will be studying Biomedical Science at Sheffield University.

Molly said: “My journey was not easy, but I made it in the end – triple distinction star – I think I did a pretty good job! My advice to other students would be remember you are never alone at Elvin, you can do it, put in the hard work but also remember to look after yourself.”

Mya Ashbourne – Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction*

Mya will be studying physiotherapy at the University of East Anglia.

Mya said: “I am really happy with my grades. To be honest I never thought I had the potential that I have had. I joined Elvin just for the Sixth Form and the support I had from the teachers and my peers really helped me. I have not always been the most confident person, I doubted myself but the help I have received has supported me to get the best grades. My advice would be to take every opportunity this school gives you and don’t doubt yourself. If I can get there, so can you. My GCSEs results were not amazing, but I have come out with the top BTEC results!”

Mohammed Walid – A*, A, A

Mohammed achieved his grades in Biology, Chemistry, and French and is planning to take up a place studying Medicine at Queen Mary University of London. Mohammed is a Reuben Foundation bursary recipient, worth £22,500 throughout his studies.

Mohamed said: “This will allow me to focus fully on the study of medicine without a part-time job.” Upon receiving his results, he wanted to thank his teachers. “They’ve helped us out so much despite challenging circumstances. We’ve been provided with lots of work experience and given loads of help with our personal statements. I’m proud of the work I put in and this shows that hard work pays off.”

Salma Gallul – A*, A*, A*

Salma achieved three A* grades in Biology, Chemistry and Religious Education. She is going on to study Biomedical Sciences at St George’s, University of London.

On receiving her grades, Salma said “I’m very proud of myself as these grades are a testament to how hard I worked.”

Biddy Davies – A*, A*, A

Biddy, a skilled and accomplished artist whose work was selected by BAFTA to go in their time capsule earlier this year, achieved an A* in Art and Design, along with an A* in Maths and an A in Further Maths. Biddy, who is taking a gap year before going to university, is interested in pursuing a career in architecture.

Biddy said, “I am so happy. It is like fireworks exploding in my tummy. I want to thank the teachers at Ark Alexandra for giving up their own time to support me and always believing in me. Villiers Park support has given me the confidence to take a gap year and the constancy to help with my application next year. All this shows what a good choice it was to come to study here.”

Mustafa Samadi – A*, A, A

Mustafa is looking forward to studying Politics and International Relations at UCL. Mustafa, among the first generation to attend university in his family, is the recipient of an Ark bursary worth £9,000, which will ease the financial strain of tuition and living costs.

Mustafa said: “Our sixth form provides students with excellent teaching, support and opportunities for whoever walks through the doors. I’m very fortunate to have been a part of the school.”

Abrar Hassan – A*, A*, A

Abrar, who exudes a passion for History, will study this as a degree at the University of Cambridge. She is the first Oxbridge success for the Ark St Alban’s Academy. History incorporates Abrar’s interests both academically and personally. She is an active participant in her Sixth Form as a mentor for a Year 11 student, volunteering during summer school and open evenings. She is a Reuben Foundation bursary recipient and has gained an A* in History, A* in Psychology and an A in Sociology.

Abrar said: “I’m looking forward to studying a subject that’s infinitely expanding and building new interpretations of the past at the University of Cambridge.”

Ayesha Chowdhury – A, A, B

Ayesha is an Urbanest bursary awardee, giving her a fully funded accommodation in one of their London sites. Today, she is celebrating an A in English Literature, an A in Religious Education and a B in Sociology and will study International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Teachers described Ayesha as “a very capable young woman who has consistently achieved a significantly high level across her subjects”. Her family has struggled financially, but she has not let this hold her back. Ayesha is keen to break the stereotypes associated with people from disadvantaged backgrounds and one day hopes to inspire others. Ayesha has faced some incredibly difficult situations in recent months. However, she has not let these situations disengage her with her studies and has continued to achieve to a high level.

Arif Mohammad – Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction*

Arif gained three D*s in Business BTEC, and will be going on to study Law at the University of Sheffield.

Di’Mario D – A*,A*,A*

With three A* grades, Di’Mario will be going to University of Cambridge studying Theology, Religion and Philosophy.

Shameika Isaacs – A*,A*,A*

With three A* grades, Shameika will be going to Oxford University and studying Biochemistry.

Jevantae Freckelton – Distinction*, Distinction*,Distinction*, B

Achieving D* D* D* in BTEC and a B in A-Level, Jevantae is studying International Business at University of Sussex.

Robert – A, A, A

Robert will be joining Queen Mary University of London after achieving the A grades, and is going to study Biomedical Science.

He said “I am both happy and surprised with my 3 A’s. I worked hard for this despite the challenges along the way! I enjoyed my time at Ark Acton”.

Emily – A*, A*, A

Emily is off to Birmingham University to study Politics and Sociology. She said “I am shocked and overjoyed with my results! I didn’t expect to do this well and I am thrilled!”

Hamza Arybou – A*, A*, A*

Deputy Head Boy Hamza from Ark Academy is delighted with his grades as they mean he will now go on to study Medicine at Imperial College.

Monera Kifai – A*, A*, A

Monera Kifai holding her results proudly – with 2 A*s and 1 A in Government and Politics, Sociology and RE, she will now go on to study Law.