Thursday, August 24th, 2017.

Excelsior pupils Anna Baldeh, Nabila Ferdowsee and Wendy Sibanda celebrating GCSE Results Day.

Teachers have hailed the hard work and tenacity of Excelsior Academy pupils who have scored outstanding GCSE success, in many cases against all odds.

Pupil Zainab Saeed, who only joined Excelsior from Italy in Year 9, achieved three A*s, two Distinction stars, two A grade GCSEs and 7s across the board in English and maths.

Zainab said: “I was very nervous when I was opening my results because of the new grading system and I didn’t know how it was going to go.

“I came over from Italy two years ago and had to learn how to speak English too. It was hard but I am very happy with my results.”

The GCSE performance of pupils at Excelsior is all the more remarkable as for nearly half of pupils at the academy, English is their second language.

Pupil Lucy Ridley secured nine GCSE passes with an 8 for English and a 7 for maths and a string of A*s and Distinction stars. Lucy’s achievement is all the more remarkable as she has sat all her examinations a year early.

She said: “I can’t believe it, I am so happy with my results, I didn’t expect to get any A*s I thought the highest I would get was an A at most.

“I’m even more pleased with myself because I am only meant to be going into Year 11 now, but the fact that I’ve sat my exams a year early is a great achievement.”

Lucy’s Mum, Amanda Ridley said: “I knew she would do well because she worked extremely hard by revising all day and night. I’ve never been so proud in my life.”

Elle Thorpe achieved the highest new Grade 9 for English Language – equivalent to an A** under the previous grading system – while Dylan Smith secured a Grade 8 at English Literature as well as nine other GCSE passes.

Daniel Broadwith secured a Grade 8 in English Language, Grade 7 in English Literature and 7 more GCSEs.

Hafsah Ali said: “I have done really well with my results, I got high results on all of my subjects and an A* in Art. I am really proud of myself. I really like science and will be continuing to do this at Excelsior College and then hopefully at university too.”

Hafsah achieved an A* in Art, A in science and history as well as 7 other GCSEs.

Executive Principal Craig Taylor said: “We are once again delighted with the individual achievements of our pupils, many of whom have achieved top level GCSE passes of A* and A, plus the new 7s, 8s and 9s for both Maths and English. The results are a great testimony to the hard work and dedication of both Excelsior pupils and the staff.

“Excelsior serves such a rich and diverse community and the staff work really hard to meet the needs of all the pupils and these results once again demonstrate that if pupils are willing to work hard then anything is possible.

“I am concerned, however, that the recent changes to GCSE courses and assessment have made it increasingly difficult for parents, pupils and employers to understand their performance in what is currently a complicated system of numeric and traditional grading.”