A Level results: Epping St Johns students heading to the country’s top universities, despite pandemic.

TEENAGERS from Epping are heading to the country’s top universities, despite completing their A-levels during the pandemic.

Schools were forced to close to the majority of students in March due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

For Year 13 students, it meant the summer A-level exams they had been preparing for were cancelled.

Instead, their teachers were tasked with producing recommendations for their grades, based on work they had already completed and ability they had proven in class, coursework and mock exams.

Today, the official results were released to students, including those at Epping St John’s Church of England School Sixth Form.

Head of school Michael Yerosimou is celebrating his students’ achievements – with a record number applying to Russell Group universities.

He said: “We are so proud of our students and the resilience they have shown in a really bad situation.

“When schools partially closed in March, we did not just forget about Year 13, or Year 11. We have kept in touch the whole time, right up until today; we have been in this together throughout. Our sixth form team has made sure Year 13 were kept going through communication and helping to prepare them for university or their chosen next steps.

“Parents asked if it was worthwhile students continuing to study and whether it would impact their results. Our message was to focus on what they wanted to do next. What we felt was the most useful was for us to prepare our students for what they were looking to move on to in September.

“Our mission is to help all students to succeed by removing any barriers they have to learning. We have certainly proven that this year.”
Students received their results this year via email and were invited to book an appointment with the sixth form team to discuss their next steps.

Flora Christofi, head of sixth form, said: “More than 50 per cent of our sixth formers had booked an appointment to come into school to see us on results day before they had actually received their results. They were keen to discuss the uncertainty about the future and to talk with their teachers about the sensible next steps to take and their options for the year ahead. We continue to support them as much as we can.

“It has been an extremely challenging time for them, but our students are always so resilient and have been great through all of this. They have shown great fight to get to today.

“Our hope for them now is that they get into their first choice of university or onto their chosen next step; they deserve that. We have sent a virtual hug to all of our students.

“Our sixth form is aspirational. If young people want to go on to study at Russell Group universities, to take on an apprenticeship or to go into employment, it can all be achieved with our varied curriculum.”

Students were provided with guidance from BMAT, the school’s parent Trust, and Ofqual, which regulates qualifications, on how the results were reached this year.

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