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All of us at BGS would like to congratulate this year’s A level students on an outstanding set of results that marks the culmination of the extraordinary journey they have been on. As many commentators have stated, the disruption to their education has been greater than that for any school-leaving cohort since the end of the Second World War, and for them to have worked under such difficult circumstances to achieve such impressive outcomes speaks volumes – primarily for them, but also for their families, and for all their staff at BGS. Today we celebrate not only the hard work each of them has put in over their time with us, but also their resourcefulness, their enthusiasm, their kindness, their leadership and their wider contributions to School life.
Headmaster Jaideep Barot says: “These brilliant students have lived through such difficult times over the last eighteen months, and they have been put through a totally different assessment system to that which they have been working towards throughout their school lives. While none of them is defined by letters on a piece of paper, we know how important these grades are for them – and for their families and teachers. They have done all that was asked of them, and risen magnificently to the myriad challenges that they have faced.
To the students: We are immensely proud of what you have accomplished – you have been exceptional, as have your teachers.”
Upper Sixth student Elvis praises his teachers: “I felt that all the teachers did everything that they could to support us. It felt as though they would move mountains to help us, and they ensured that we had the best opportunities to succeed. This really shows in our great results; everyone I have spoken to is really happy with them.”
More than their individual and collective grade successes, we have been delighted with how our Sixth-form students have approached their learning over the last year.
Head of Sixth Form, Justin Harford says: “Accessing learning through a full timetable, taught remotely, is difficult, but each individual engaged thoroughly, ably supported by Form Tutors on a daily basis, and stayed focused throughout the lockdowns. These excellent results are just rewards for their dedication and perseverance.
This year’s grades have been based on rigorous evidence, obtained across several pieces of work which tested the material which students had been taught, and which were painstakingly checked and cross-checked by expert subject teachers, before going through the boards’ quality control processes. Our students have worked really hard for these grades, and we congratulate them on having done so while retaining the kindness, camaraderie and support for one another that marks out the BGS Sixth Form experience.”
Upper Sixth student and Deputy Head of School Theresa says: “My Form Tutor has been a massive help – checking on our wellbeing, seeing how we are finding our school work, and checking that we had all of the resources we needed. We are very privileged to have iPads and Apple Pencils here to help us with our school work, and this has aided our learning so much and made it so much easier to communicate with each other.
All of our teachers made us feel that we still deserved great grades, even though it’s been a very difficult time over the last couple of years. Mr Harford (Head of Sixth Form) has been really helpful too. We all knew that every teacher had our best interests at heart.”
Eva, who joined BGS for Sixth Form, says: “I’ve had so much support from my teachers during my two years at BGS, especially when I started. I was unsure about the subjects I was taking, and Mr Harford gave me a lot of support to help me find the right options for me, while also introducing me to other students, including some who had moved to BGS for the Sixth Form from state schools, like me.
"I also really appreciate the work done by the Careers Team as I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school. They listened to all my thoughts, and then supported me as I decided my plans after Sixth Form. I had thought that a school like BGS would focus on supporting those students who wanted to study medicine or attend Oxford or Cambridge, but actually, I felt that the support and guidance I received was the same as any other member of the year group.
"I’m going to do an Art Foundation course at Queen’s Road next year, but I’m not sure what I want to do after that yet. The course will give me time and space to help me decide on my next steps; now that I have my results, I can properly think about what I want to move on to.”
Our leavers’ thoughts now naturally turn towards what is coming next – the first steps of their exciting futures. An unprecedented number of this year’s Upper Sixth have secured their first choice university places – over 44 different destinations, including all twelve of those who were holding Oxbridge offers securing their places. As ever, our students go on to a broad range of future paths; they are supported to choose courses that fit their interests and talents best. They are going on to study over 85 different courses from Medicine, Economics and Geography to Creative Music Technology, Global Health and Social Medicine, Real Estate, and Anthropology - and everything in between. We wish them all the very best of luck, and we look forward to hearing how it all turns out for them over the coming months and years.