GCSE Results Day 2018: Plashet School pupils celebrate top grades with 109 pupils achieving A*s and 9s
PUBLISHED: 09:53 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:18 23 August 2018
Getting one 9 - the top grade in the new-style GCSEs - is tough enough, so imagine getting a clean sweep of them.
That’s exactly what Maimoona Khan did, picking up all 9s in her exams.
“I’m so emotional,” she said.
“As I was opening them, I just kept thinking, oh no.
“I had predictions for 9s, but I think in my heart I still wasn’t expecting it.”
The 16-year-old is now set to go to Newham Collegiate to study for A-levels in biology, chemistry, physics and maths.
Other top achievers at the Plashet Grove, East Ham school include Mayisha Karim and Noor Waseem, who will both be going to Newham Collegiate after picking up all 8s and 9s.
Meanwhile, Safiyya Master is quids in - quite literally - after having a bet with her dad.
After saying he’d pay her £500 for every 9 she achieved, she could be £2,500 better off after scooping five of the top grades.
“I thought it would help to give her that push,” dad Imran said.
“Even she didn’t think she’d be getting 9s – we thought they were really hard to get.
“We’re going to have to renegotiate prices!”
Across the board, Plashet secured the top grades, with 109 of its 268 GCSE pupils achieving at least one 9 or A*. Forty per cent of the grades awarded were 9s, 8s, 7s, A*s or As.
“The changes in the system scared a lot of teachers,” headteacher Rachel McGowan said.
“They came in so quickly, we felt a little at odds with it.
“We thought we’d do okay, but I couldn’t fathom just how well.
“The students knew how rare 9s would be, and they could feel how hard the papers were. We had teachers coming out saying they were like an old-style A-level paper.
“But Plashet, and Newham as a whole, has high expectations. We have children who have to battle a lot of barriers and the families of Newham rise to that. Schools in Newham want to enable social mobility. I’m from a working-class background and I worked my way up – I want that for them.”