BDA students head to top universities

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Students from Ark Burlington Danes Academy are celebrating achieving places at universities or vocational placements despite the ongoing impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

Ark Burlington Danes Academy is part of the Ark network of 38 multi-academy schools, which has been supporting its 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 our students throughout the national lockdowns and beyond, we distributed Google Chromebooks to all students who have needed them and ran a full timetable of live, online lessons. More widely, we supported our families through our school foodbank, for which we raised over £17000 and supported our student pastorally, be it via regular pastoral check ins for all students whilst learning from home or specialist support from Place2Be or Mind.

In previous years, the school has seen its students attend top universities like Oxford, Imperial and Harvard. This year, the school has even more students to congratulate.

Ark Burlington Danes Academy student, Rumaysah Khan, who got a 3 A*s in English Literature, Politics and Sociology, is set to take up a place studying on a prestigious degree apprenticeship course with Eversheds Sutherland, where she will be working alongside gaining an undergraduate degree. Rumaysah has been hugely involved in student life during her time at Burlington Danes, having taken part in debating and the Realising Opportunities project. Rumaysah said “My favourite years were in the 6th form. Teachers encourage you to take ownership and responsibility. Thank you [to my teachers] for all your support, it was the difference in me getting my grades”. 

Merveille Samba opened his envelope to reveal D*D*D in his BTEC Professional Pathways Business course. The triple distinction represents the culmination of his seven years at Ark Burlington Danes, and Merveille will be continuing his studies at Aston University where he will be studying Business Management. He is the recipient of a £9000 burasry from Marshall Wace to support during his university studies. Merveille has been a key member of several sports teams across the school in his time here, and is on the lookout for a boxing club to join in Freshers’ Week! On receiving his grades, he said “I never thought I’d make it this far. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and I’d like to thank all of the teachers that have supported me to get here, particularly my head of year, Ms Vasey.”

Nerjess Alfellani is off to Oxford University to study Geography following her stunning results of A*A*A*A B. On receiving her results, Nerjess said: “I’m so happy with my results. I can’t wait to start a new chapter in my life when I start my studies at Oxford in September.” Nerjess is the recipient of the Ark Schools Reuben Oxbridge bursary, worth £22,500 over the course of her degree studies.

Stella Traba was also the worthy recipient of a life-changing bursary, and heads off to Royal Holloway with the Aurum Finance fund, which offers her £50,000 towards tuition fees and living costs, mentoring throughout her year degree and paid work experience placements to help boost her graduate prospects. Stella won one of the two £50,000 bursaries available across the entire Ark network.

Ark Burlington Danes Academy Principal, Paul Bhatia, said:

“We are delighted with the excellent results our Year 13 students have achieved. It has been wonderful seeing our students secure such high grades and gain admission to the most competitive universities in the country. This September, nearly half our students will be starting at a Russell Group university, including Oxford, Kings, Bristol, UCL, Imperial, Durham, and the LSE. This is a testament to the hard work, resilience and ambition of our students, and their commitment to academic excellence.

I would also like to thank our teaching and support staff, who have ensured that our children have kept learning, whether that has been online or in person. And a particular thank you to our pastoral team, who have provided great care and support to our students and families over the course of this challenging year. Their work has let our students focus on their learning, and achieve to their fullest potential. I am hugely proud of what our students and staff have achieved.”

This year’s grades were based on what students have been taught, not what they missed. 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.