Ark Burlington Danes students celebrate top GCSE marks

Thursday 12 August 2021

Students from Ark Burlington Danes Academy have achieved top GCSE grades in what has been another challenging academic year.   With the continued disruption to their education, students could not take examinations in the usual way and instead received teacher-assessed grades based on what they had been taught, not what they missed.

Ark Burlington Danes is part of the Ark network of 38 multi-academy schools, which has supported schools with a three-strand programme that focused on enabling digital access for all students, protecting their mental health and helping students catch up on lost learning.

In order to support students throughout the national lockdowns and beyond, the school distributed Google Chromebooks to all students who needed them and ran a full timetable of live, online lessons. More widely, families were supported through our school foodbank, for which teachers and students raised over £17000 and supported our students pastorally, be it via regular pastoral check ins for all students whilst learning from home or specialist support from agencies such as Place2Be or Mind.

Among Ark Burlington Danes Academy’s high performers in this year’s GCSEs were:   

  • Yaseen A - 8 grade 9s, two 8s
  • Fardowsa H- 8 grade 9s, 5 8s
  • Sarah A - 8 grade 9s, 1 8, 1 6
  • Cherif K - 7 grade 9s, 2 grade 8s, 1 grade 7
  • Christian C - 5 grade 9s, 3 grade s8, 6
  • Dina E - 5 grade 9s, 3 grade 8s, 1 6
  • Aiysha R - 3 grade 9s, 5 grade 8s, 2 grade 7

Sarah Aly, aged 16, achieved a fantastic set of results, with eight grade 9s, and 8 and a 6. She said, “I’m feeling really good. At first I found learning from home really hard as I wasn’t used to it, but it got easier and I learned a lot. I’m going to be coming back to Burlington Danes for Sixth Form and will study Maths, Chemistry and Biology. At university I’m hoping to do something like forensic chemistry or chemical engineering. It’s really inspiring hearing about where BDA students go to university, such as the student who got an unconditional offer from Oxford! My dream is to go to Imperial College.”

Noah Jama, 16, will be returning to Burlington Danes for Sixth Form, where he’ll be studying Chemistry, Biology and Maths, having achieved a fantastic set of results Noah said, “I’m feeling really pleased now I’ve got my results but was nervous before! The school really supported me during lockdown, they gave me a laptop and without that I wouldn’t have achieved the grades I got. I was most inspired by a BDA former student who got into MIT in America! My hope is to go on to study medicine at university.”

Ark Burlington Danes Academy Principal Paul Bhatia said: “I am absolutely delighted with the achievements of our Year 11 students. These last two years have been incredibly challenging, yet our students have shown immense resilience and great ambition to secure an outstanding set of results. I would also like to thank our staff, who have ensured that our students have kept learning throughout the year, both at home and at school.

And I am so pleased that we will be welcoming record numbers of our students back into our sixth form, which is a testament to our excellent KS5 teaching and the outstanding destinations our sixth formers achieve. Seeing the smiles on our students' faces is a wonderful way to finish the year."

This year, teachers used a mix of evidence, including mock exams, coursework and other work completed as part of their course, such as essays or in-class tests. In addition, exam boards provided optional sets of questions for teachers to use to help them gather evidence,