Dubai: Students and educators were elated after UAE schools reported stellar performances of year 11 students in General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) results announced today with several students across the country scoring top grades despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19.
This year, the United Kingdom board exams were not held because of the pandemic. The students were assessed based on the grades evaluated by their teachers using their performances during the academic year.
Most schools reported a 100 per cent pass rate with top scorers bagging 9-8 grades (equivalent to A*) in most subjects.
The GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is administered by UK-based education bodies for Year 11 students in British curriculum schools worldwide. Based on GCSE results, students typically choose their subjects for school-leaving qualifications such as A (Advanced) Levels or the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma.
According to the results shared by the UAE schools until today evening, Riti Dinesh of Dubai British School Jumeirah Park and Melisa Avci from GEMS Wellington Academy — Al Khail, secured grade 9s in a total of 11 subjects.
Joe Hulme of Hartland International School scored 10 grade 9s and Brighton College Dubai’s Head Girl, Madeleine Cranitch, secured 9 Grade 9s/A*, the schools said.
Vadim Rikunov from The Winchester School — Jebel Ali, who scored 11 A*s and an A, said: “The school has helped me to not only maintain my passion for learning, but increase it as well. It has equipped me with all the skills and experience to now continue with my college education. I have become an independent, flexible and knowledge-seeking individual, who is inspired to look beyond challenges and convert every problem into an opportunity.”
GEMS Wellington International School’s top scorer George Moussa’s father said his son had moved to Dubai from a school in Egypt just two years ago. “He was able to catch up in all the subjects and came ahead of his colleagues, achieving an outstanding result. I am really proud and happy, and thank his school and the staff for helping him achieve his goals.”
Many 100% A* for this school
Al Futtaim Education Foundation said Deira International School (DIS) reported A*-A grades for a remarkable 77 per cent of the students. Standout students Daniel Nasri, Marcelle Shouly, Meera Hallak, Muhammad Nadeem, Murtaza Asghar, Nabil El Hage Ali, Nayla Waly, Pradyumna Saligram, Roxanne Dubash and Vaynika Gupta achieved 100 per cent A*, said the school.
Simon O’Connor, director of Deira International School, said: “I am thrilled with these outstanding results. This has been such a challenging year for everyone; for students, staff and parents. Witnessing our GCSE cohort achieve this level of academic success is absolutely wonderful.”
Several students reported stand-out subject performances as well, said jubilant principals who were proud to share their students’ achievements.
GEMS Education said students at the group’s British curriculum schools, together with their teachers, principals and parents, celebrated another record year of GCSE results.
A total of 2,971 students from 20 GEMS schools took over 22,100 IGCSE/GCSEs this year. Across the GEMS network, 1,733 students achieved top grades of 9-8 (equivalent to A*), 50 per cent of entries attained grades 9-7 (A*-A) compared to 30 per cent in England, and 89 per cent of entries were awarded grades 9-4 (A*-C) compared to 79 per cent in England, the group said in a press release. .
Exceptional school exam season
Dino Varkey, group CEO, GEMS Education congratulated students who “performed spectacularly well and above all expectations given the context of their achievements”. He added: “Their excellent set of results will stand them in good stead as they move on to the next stage of their exciting education journeys filled with opportunity and promise. These GCSE results now bring to a close what has been an exceptional school exam season that has seen pupils from across different curricula meet the challenges of the pandemic head on – and then rise above them with distinction.”
Among Taaleem group schools, Dubai British School Jumeirah Park recorded A* for 47 per cent of students while 63 per cent received A*A.
Rebecca Coulter, principal of DBSJP said: “We are delighted with our 2021 GCSE results, with 82 per cent of our students achieving the highest possible grades in over 25 GCSE subjects. We are incredibly proud of each and every one of them and we are pleased to celebrate their hard work, effort and achievement. The challenging circumstances overcome by the students throughout the course of the last academic year have demonstrated their resilience, maturity and strength of character.”
“Special congratulations go to Riti Dinesh on her stunning performance, achieving 11 grade 9s at GCSE,” she added.
As many as 38 per cent of the cohort of Dubai British School Emirates Hills achieved A* and 58 per cent A*A.
Simon Jodrell, principal DBS EH, said: “It is with immense pride that I congratulate the Year 11 students at DBS EH on their GCSE results today. We are even prouder of these results as we are a non-selective and inclusive school.”
Saim Ahmed of Aldar Academies achieved 10 grade 9s in the school’s record-breaking results, the school said.
Brighton College Dubai’s first ever cohort of GCSE graduates are celebrating outstanding results, with 55 percent achieving an impressive Grade 9-8 (A*).
Applauding the value-added that each pupil has achieved in their examinations, which on average is a positive +1.92, the school stated: “This means that they have achieved, on average, nearly two grades above the predicted grades they were given from external, globally recognised tests at the time they joined the College. Emirati pupil, Lora Atatreh, has achieved an impressive value-added score of +2.4 across her 9 GCSE subjects.”
From the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE, Repton Abu Dhabi presented its inaugural Year 11 GCSE cohort, with students achieving exemplary results while Repton Dubai, celebrated outstanding performances for the 12th consecutive year.
As the first IGCSE cohort from Repton Abu Dhabi, students from the Fry Campus set the precedent, with 100% of students achieving 5 or more GCSE grades 9-4 (A*-C) while 44% were awarded the maximum grade 9/8’s (A*) and 64% of entries achieved the grade 9-7’s (A*-A), the school said.
David Cook, chief education officer of the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE and headmaster at Repton Dubai said: “This year’s results hold special value as we had two cohorts within the Repton community challenging themselves.”
As the first IGCSE cohort from Repton Abu Dhabi, students from the Fry Campus set the precedent, with 100 per cent of students achieving 5 or more GCSE grades 9-4 (A*-C) while 44% were awarded the maximum grade 9/8’s (A*) and 64% of entries achieved the grade 9-7’s (A*-A), the school said.
Praise for students, teachers
Educators and top executives of schools heaped praises on the students whose results came out in flying colours and the teachers who worked tirelessly.
Fiona Cottam, principal, Hartland International School, which also had its first cohort of GCSE students getting their results, said: Hand on heart I am confident that we took rigorous measures to ensure that there was no question of grade inflation and these end results are genuinely deserved. They are a true reflection of the academic achievements of these students, but they also tell us a story of their determination and their focus in turbulent times, life skills that will stand them in good stead for whatever the future may throw at them.”
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Simon Corns, Head Master of Brighton College Abu Dhabi commented: “This year’s GCSE results at Brighton College Abu Dhabi are outstanding, and after nearly two years of really difficult circumstances, our pupils thoroughly deserve them. I pay warm tribute to our wonderful pupils and to their outstanding teachers who, together have secured these fantastic results.”
Darren Gale, principal at Horizon International School, said: “Following the furore around the examination series, we first and foremost take a moment to acknowledge how hard our students have applied themselves, together with the guidance and dedication of our staff. It has been another challenging year and a key tenet for us at HIS was to ensure continuity, high quality, personalised learning. Both as a cohort and as individuals, there is much to celebrate and this should give our students the motivation and confidence they need for the next stages in their learning journey with us.”