GCSE results day: Waterhead Academy pupils' hard work pays off

Date published: 12 August 2021

Waterhead Academy Principal Darren Lyon has been delighted to report some outstanding achievements by its students in their GCSE and equivalent qualifications this summer.

Against the backdrop of a hugely disrupted year, Waterhead students embraced the challenges of home and blended learning and ensured that some 60% of them gained a grade 4 in both English and maths, and 42% a grade 5 in both.

A total of 38 students gained at least one grade 9 and nine students gained at least three grade 9s.

Overall, 17% of all grades awarded were at grades 7, 8 or 9, and over 70% of all grades awarded were at grade 4 and above.

A number of Waterhead Academy students deserve special mentions.

Mateeb Hussain gained a brilliant eight grade 9s and one grade 8, while Menahil Atif secured seven grade 9s, a grade 8 and a grade 7.

Principal Darren Lyon with some of his class of 2021

Thomas Worsley gained six grade 9s, a grade 8 and a grade 7, and Labaika Ilyas gained four grade 9s, four grade 8s and a grade 7.

Mateeb, who nows intends to attend Sixth Form, told the Chronicle: "I'm so very happy with these results.

"Obviously because of the pandemic and everything it has been hard work.

"It's been difficult to cope with the work at home, but it's all paid off and my mum and dad are very happy."

Menahil told us: "I just can't process it at the moment.

"I was expecting to get good results, but not to do this well.

"I'm so proud of myself."

Head Girl Menahil (pictured above) will now attend Rochdale Sixth Form College to study chemistry, psychology and biology, ahead of a planned career in dentistry.

Labaika, meanwhile, is clearly carrying on the family tradition of success.

Her eldest sisters Ashfa (now a pharmacist), Anna (a trainee solicitor) and Laray (who has just secured a First in Psychology) have all enjoyed phenomenal GCSE success in recent years.

Labaika told the Chronicle: "I feel amazing. I'm just so relieved.

"Everything has just gone as I planned it to, so I'm very, very happy.

"I have been quite relaxed, but then this morning I thought to myself 'maybe I've been a bit too relaxed!

"I'm just relieved it's all over now."

Labaika (pictured above) now intends to attend Oldham College to study Chemistry, Biology, Psychology and Media, ahead of a planned career in Medicine.

This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher assessed grades, against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards.

Academy Principal Mr Lyon said: “This group of students have experienced two years of education like no other and we are immensely proud of all their achievements after such a difficult and disrupted couple of years.

"The hard work of students has been matched by the work of staff at Waterhead who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the results our young people receive today are an accurate reflection of their hard work and their ability.

"I am extremely proud of our students and know that the results they receive today will equip them for the next phase of their education, employment or training and wish them every success in the next phase of their journey.

"Oldham has been hit harder than most areas by the impact of Covid and I know that I share the thoughts of other local school leaders when I say how proud I am of the way in which students and staff responded to the endless professional and personal challenges they have faced over the last couple of years.

"For Waterhead, these results are another indication of just how much progress the Academy is making."

Mr Lyon pictured during his photography duties this morning

He added: "I've had sympathy with the students, it's been tough.

"Home learning is difficult for parents and students, but I'm really proud of everyone during what has been my first year at the school.

"I can't wait for September now, when hopefully we'll be getting back towards normality with face masks off and some face-to-face interaction for the first time in almost two years."

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