GCSE 2021: Students and staff at Oaklands School Waterlooville school 'proud' of 'fantastic' results amid pandemic

STUDENTS and staff were ‘proud’ of ‘fantastic’ GCSE results amid unprecedented circumstances caused by Covid-19.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 5:16 pm
Blessing Okani on GCSEs results day at Oaklands Catholic School, Waterlooville, on 12 August 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

There were shrieks aplenty of happiness at Oaklands Catholic School, Waterlooville, as buoyant pupils toasted impressive results despite the challenges thrown at them during the pandemic.

Headteacher Matt Quinn said: ‘It’s an absolutely fantastic set of results and I’m really delighted with all the students here.

‘It’s been a very difficult two years so for them to achieve what they have is a testimony to their hard work and to the dedication of staff and their support.

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Jem Jeffery, Sam Boichot, Laurence Burrows and Matt Koh on GCSEs results day at Oaklands Catholic School, Waterlooville, on 12 August 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘It’s been incredibly difficult due to the pandemic as a lot of students have been isolating and they’ve had to learn while they’ve been on remote and they’ve come through all of that.

‘I’m very proud of the achievements over the last two years.’

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Student Blessing Okani, who lives in Cosham, was pleased to secure a grade 9, three 8s and four 7s, as she now looks forward to A-levels at either Oaklands or Portsmouth College.

Jemima Chappell and Ellie-Lee Cocks on GCSEs results day at Oaklands Catholic School, Waterlooville, on 12 August 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

The 16-year-old said: ‘I’m happy with the results. I was trying hard all year and it paid off. I was expecting to get those results and possibly a bit more.

‘I don’t think I would have done as well if it was marked on exams so I think lockdown worked better for me in that way.

‘My parents are also keyworkers so I was at school which helped me excel. I was able to get extra support and could ask for extra work which I knew would help build more evidence toward my grade. Maybe it was not a fair field.’

But despite this, Blessing felt she could have been handed higher grades. ‘I think I got under-graded as they made it harder for those near the top to get higher grades,’ she said.

The teenager admitted the pandemic had been tough with ‘some who really struggled during lockdown with anxiety and depression’.

She is now looking forward to studying business, English and RE - and continuing her brownie selling business called Bless Kitchen.

‘I was selling my brownies in nice boxes to teachers during school and will carry on with that,’ she said.

Jemina Chappell, 16, of Horndean, was happy after receiving five 7 grades and three 8 grades. ‘I’m shocked and happy,’ she said. ‘I got the grades I needed to go to college so that’s the most important thing.’

Ellie-Lee Cocks, 16, of Waterlooville, was satisfied with her four grades of 4, three 2s and a 5, which means she can now study education and childcare at South Downs College. ‘I’ve got to retake maths but overall I’m happy and now get to do what I want next,’ she said.

Emily Luckos, 16, of Hayling Island, secured seven grade 9s and two 8s. She said: ‘I’m happy with the result though I did expect higher.

‘But they are good results and I can now look forward to sixth form at Oaklands where I will study English language, history and RE.

‘It has been difficult over lockdown to catch up with learning but the teacher support has really helped.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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