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After a joyful and celebratory morning at Croydon High, Headmistress, Emma Pattison was thrilled to be able to congratulate these students, who have excelled themselves in so many different ways.

She commented “Today, we are not only celebrating the academic achievements of our Year 11 students, but we are also recognising the determination and positivity they have displayed, the support they have given one another and the relationships they have built with their teachers, which has enabled them to give of their best and to be recognised for this. And this whole is so much greater than its parts.”

Media coverage of Results Days is often, unfortunately, all about numbers and grades and much has been written already this year, about how the A Level and GCSE classes of 2021 would be viewed if they were being judged solely by these measures.

Of course, the figures and letters that appear in those white envelopes are undeniably important. They represent the culmination of an academic journey unique to each individual – but they do not represent the whole picture and neither do they wholly determine the future for any of those individuals.

As Mrs Pattison acknowledges “The A Level and GCSE Classes of 2021 have (arguably) dealt with the most disruption to their academic lives, with both years of their courses impacted by COVID-19. At Croydon High, this has been mitigated to a large extent by the outstanding Guided Home Learning offer and the individual academic and pastoral support. But there is no denying it has been very tough for our young people.”

The GCSE results Year 11 receive today represent a considered, accurate and fair response to the process that the Government put in place for GCSE assessment in 2021.

The work that has been put in to ensure that this process met all requirements was considerable and was carried out here at Croydon High with the highest levels of professionalism and dedication.

Exam-based assessments provide a snapshot of a student’s ability, at a particular moment on a particular day, with various contributory factors inevitably affecting this.

Croydon High’s Deputy Head (Academic) Dr Philip Purvis explained “As with the A Level assessments, the teacher-led process carried out over an extended period has allowed for a more broad-based judgement, taking account of different pieces of work and requiring sustained performance levels. The overall assessment should be seen as a positive indicator of both ability and effort, reflecting the best that a student achieves over a period of time, rather than purely a ‘make-or-break’ performance on a single exam date.

This process, which nobody would have wished to have to carry out, has nevertheless generated an unprecedented level of scrutiny of our individual students and our curriculum and teaching provision, ensuring we are able to corroborate every decision. We are very proud of the high standards exhibited in all these areas.”

Congratulations to the following outstanding students who achieved straight 8 and 9 grades. This is equivalent to an Upper A* (9) and an A* in all subjects.

Orrin Blair, Amelia Fletcher-Alvarez, Isobel Goldsmith, Zoe Kellaris, Shriya Korantak, Varjitha Kunalan, Sophia Lorke, Amelia Middleton, Amba Patel, Anjali Patel, Eleanor Quenault, India Rodway, Ciara Slattery, Tyler Snowsill-Henry and Zoe Sumsion.

The level of sustained effort and dedication required to reach this level of attainment is considerable and we applaud them for this and also for maintaining high level involvement in all their individual interests and co-curricular pursuits.

For example, Orrin, Amelia, Ciara, Sophia and Amelia M have been amongst our sporting superstars at Croydon High with impressive individual and team performances. Shriya and Isobel were founders this year of the Croydon Chronicles, a student journalistic initiative which thrived during lockdown.

Speaking of young journalists, India was one of the year group involved in the prestigious Young Reporters programme, receiving a commendation in the final awards. Eleanor has certainly found her voice in Year 11, excelling at MUN, a leading light in Amnesty and an integral performer in our school choirs. And there are many more examples from this group and across the wider cohort.

The following students are also to be commended on their academic performances which resulted in straight 7-9 grades across all subjects. This is the equivalent of all A grades and above – a tremendous achievement.

Deveshi Abbott, Nyla Ahuja, Aviniya Bloomfield, Lara Bower, Holly Cahill, Abigail Daly, Max Cascarini, Isabella Crispin, Sofia D’Inverno, Yasmin Idiculla, Inaya Iqbal, Felicity Lipinski, Emily Leeves, Kirsty Martin, Amy Murrell, Suvini Nilagarathna, Tomini Oyeniyi, Darshali Patel, Radhika Patel, Katherina Warren and Anna Wu.

Again, these academic achievements are just a part of what we are celebrating at this point in our students’ stories. Each of them, along with all their peers in Year 11, have contributed to the life of the school through their passions and accomplishments and they have enriched our school community as a result.

Max has been involved in so many aspects of school life, running Junior debating, MUN and book club, participating in Senior MUN and hugely enhancing the musical life of the school. Emily has balanced her studies brilliantly with a high-level involvement in dance, where she has already achieved so much. Amy is someone who can always be relied upon to participate wholly in all activities and to represent the school with quiet competence and maturity. The list goes on…

Head of Upper School, Carmel Tooke commented “Year 11 have faced significant challenges over the last year or so and as a group, they have dealt with the uncertainty and the ongoing restrictions with admirable positivity. Amongst them, are some who have also faced struggles with health or personal circumstances, and it is important to say that we are immensely proud of the way these students have responded. They have all our respect.”

Results Days are a moment in time, to be greeted with relief, joy, sometimes disappointment or reflection – and then an opportunity to move on, taking the knowledge gained and applying it to the journey ahead. And this, to us at Croydon High, is what results days are all about – celebrating the whole and looking forward to the future.

As Mrs Pattison concluded, “The future for all our Year 11 students is there for the taking and we wish each of them success and every happiness in their post-16 adventures. We look forward to welcoming the majority of them, along with a number of new students who have chosen to join our Sixth Form, into a dynamic, nurturing and exciting environment where we are confident they will be more than ready to excel.”