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A-level results: St Angela's Ursuline headteacher's warning as Forest Gate school celebrates another successful year

PUBLISHED: 13:12 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:36 15 August 2019

St Angela's Ursuline sixth formers celebrate after achieving top grades. Picture: Jon King

St Angela's Ursuline sixth formers celebrate after achieving top grades. Picture: Jon King

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A headteacher has warned youngsters could be put off studying maths and English at A-level on the day his school celebrates another year of success.

St Angela's Ursuline headteacher, Mark Johnson. Picture: Jon KingSt Angela's Ursuline headteacher, Mark Johnson. Picture: Jon King

Mark Johnson of St Angela's Ursuline in St George's Road, Forest Gate, said recent reports of youngsters only needing to get half the answers right on the A-level maths paper to get an A grade were missing the point.

Mr Johnson, a maths teacher with 25-years' experience, said: "This assessment is actually wrong.

L-R: Aribah Aftab is planning to go to City University while Samia Rob is hoping to get to King's College, London. Picture: Jon KingL-R: Aribah Aftab is planning to go to City University while Samia Rob is hoping to get to King's College, London. Picture: Jon King

"A 55 per cent pass rate for an A might seem like [the subject] is being dumbed down, but it's actually because [the exam boards] are making the paper so inaccessible."

He added he would be sharing his concerns with the exam board Pearson, which last month wrote to schools to assure them it would look into how well its A-level maths papers measured students' abilities.

Nathan Bololo got an A in English Literature; A in psychology and B in psychology. He is planning to go to Loughborough University. Picture: Jon KingNathan Bololo got an A in English Literature; A in psychology and B in psychology. He is planning to go to Loughborough University. Picture: Jon King

St Angela's headteacher joined fellow school leaders in calling for changes to GCSE English which has been blamed for a national decline in the number of youngsters taking the subject at A-level.

"GCSE English is not as exciting as it should be. At St Angela's we usually recruit well for English A-level. We will continue our hard fight to make sure these important subjects don't dwindle," Mr Johnson said.

Melanie Hilaire has secured her place at Leeds University after scooping an A*, A and B in sociology, religious studies and Spanish respectively. Picture: Jon KingMelanie Hilaire has secured her place at Leeds University after scooping an A*, A and B in sociology, religious studies and Spanish respectively. Picture: Jon King

This year saw St Angela's sixth formers achieve an overall A-level pass rate of 99.8pc with almost 80pc of students achieving A*-C grades.

Just under half of Year 13s scooped grades A*-B.

Jeremy Lacsamana has a place at Goldsmiths University after getting an A* in media, A in sociology and D in Spanish. Picture: Jon KingJeremy Lacsamana has a place at Goldsmiths University after getting an A* in media, A in sociology and D in Spanish. Picture: Jon King

"With the more challenging A-level examinations, we are really pleased that the percentage of pass results are on a par with last year. The governors, teachers and parents are a vital part of this success," Mr Johnson said.

There were a lot of happy youngsters clutching results envelopes at the school including 17-year-old Maggie Georgieva who scooped A grades in maths and further maths as well as a B in psychology.

"I'm relieved the wait is finally over," she said.

On her success, Maggie, who arrived in the UK aged 10 from Bulgaria with basic English, added: "I just had to put my head down and focus."

Fellow student, Louise Craig, scooped two As and a B in in history, psychology and French.

On how she planned to celebrate, the 18-year-old said: "I'm going to bed. I didn't sleep at all last night."

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