After an extraordinary two years, Sixth Form students at Brentwood School received their A Level and BTEC results on Tuesday 10th August.
16 of the talented A Level cohort got straight A* grades, five are off to Cambridge, and 85% are going to their first choice destination. When combined with the impressive IB Diploma Results at the beginning of the summer holidays, Results Day 2021 was quite rightly a celebration of the diversity of individual successes.
Since 2019, the School has offered three pathways in the Sixth Form: A Levels, the IB Diploma, and BTEC Extended Diplomas in Sport and Business, which links with the School’s aim to help students be ‘the best version of themselves’.
Four pioneering students studied BTEC Sport and their results have seen them achieve outstanding outcomes - Surya James is heading to Bath, Jack Levy to Durham, Alfie Truman-Williams to Exeter, and Callum Balsom has taken up work in the city to be a junior broker at Oil Brokerage Ltd.
Among the individual A Level successes was Emma Bowie-Britton, who received A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics, and will be heading to the University of York to continue studying Chemistry. Emma’s proud Father, who drove down from Loughborough in the early hours, said he was ‘ecstatic’ with her results.
Deputy Head of School Will Johnson, who had been heavily involved in the School’s extensive Performing Arts programme, was quite taken aback with his straight A*s in English, History and Drama, and will be going to the University of Exeter to study English and Drama. Will paid tribute to Mr Bulmer, the School’s Director of Performing Arts, who supported him throughout his studies and helped with his UCAS application. His Mum filled in the gaps for him by saying "it’s quite a lot to take in".
His good friend, fellow actor and musician Neo Merrell, who achieved A*s in Drama and Geography and a B in Maths, heads to the prestigious ArtsEd to study for a degree in Acting.
Among the many diverse courses that students are going on to study, five students are bucking a national trend by studying Modern Foreign Languages, and a further five students will be studying Computer Science, the most the School can remember, which is an indication of our aim to prepare students for the jobs of the future.
Further to this, an increasing number of students have opted to take up apprenticeships in the city, including Clarke McGillicuddy, (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Ben Fordham (Deutsche Bank), Mikaela Laderas (Bank of America) and Eloise Long (Willis Towers Watson). This pathway is growing in popularity and our students are coming out on top to obtain places on some of the most competitive programmes offered.
Five students will be studying at Cambridge University: Hong Kong boarding student Torres Ng will be studying Geography at Homerton College; Sriram Akula Computer Science at Trinity Hall; Sarah Blockley Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Clare College; and two Classicists Lucy Hodgkinson at Gonville and Caius College and William Jones at Pembroke College. In addition, seven students are going on to study Medicine, traditionally one of the most difficult courses to get into, and one to study Veterinary Science, which represents a resounding success for the School’s comprehensive MDV programme.
Eshan Chopra, the technical mastermind behind Brentwood School’s renowned Virtual Music Land, was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by his AAB, and is excited to get started on his Management and Marketing degree at Birmingham. He hopes the degree will open the door to a future in the film and music industry. “I would like to continue in the Arts in some way or form so I can carry on pursuing my passions. I’m not going to close off any options but film and music are my passions at the moment. Virtual Music Land was a large part of my personal statement and I was glad to get the opportunity to be a part of that.” Sixth Form during Covid was ‘tough’ and he thanked all his teachers, closest friends, parents and family who kept him encouraged. “Overall it’s been quite tough, academically, mentally, emotionally, it’s been quite taxing. It’s nice to say that we have actually made it worthwhile and these results have made that clear.” He went on to say: “The lockdown opened so many opportunities, as many doors as it closed, it opened.”
Twins Alfie and Mia Fursedonne will be using their extensive lockdown Zoom skills to keep in touch as they will now be separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Alfie is off to St John’s College, Durham, while sister Mia flies to the USA on Saturday to embark on a swim academic scholarship at Northern State University, South Dakota. Alfie, who achieved AAB, and will be studying Ancient History and Archaeology, was feeling ‘so-so’ about losing his sister for a little while.
Mia, who was confident her brother would be fine without her, chose Northern State after studying USA university ranking and swimming programmes but due to Covid restrictions was unable to visit South Dakota and see its ‘amazing’ facilities in advance. Mia, who has been fully vaccinated will even have to make the 18-hour trek on her own! On arrival, she will be thrown straight into the deep end as the swimming programme starts immediately.
International Baccalaureate students received their results much earlier, on Monday 5th July. The 2021 cohort includes students with connections to Nigeria, Italy, Denmark, the USA, Hong Kong and Ukraine, showing the increasingly global reach of the school.
For many students, dreams were realised and the School was proud to confirm an outstanding average score of 40 points (with 45 the maximum). The international flavour has continued with the variety of destinations the students have chosen to continue their studies at, which includes the USA, Canada and China.
Danish student Inger Hansen, whose father Hans also attended the School in the 1980s, received glowing feedback from her interview at the private London institution New College of the Humanities, where she will be studying English with Creative Writing. Her "valuable experience of working collaboratively in creative writing" and "enormous potential" reflects the School’s holistic education and the IB Diploma Programme supports this approach very well.
One student received the maximum 45 points: Deputy Head of School, Elizabeth Akeju, who studied Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology at Higher Level, and she will be heading to Imperial College London to study Medicine. Also heading off to study Medicine, at Plymouth College, is Amelia O’Leary, with 44 points.
Bosnian boarding student Din Tolj, also with 44 points, who joined the School on a full bursary, managed to obtain a full scholarship to Yale University in the United States, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions. His Higher Level subjects were Mathematics, Physics, English and Philosophy.
Headmaster Michael Bond, who shared the nerves of parents on results day as he awaited his own son’s results, commented: “It’s been a very challenging couple of years for this cohort of students, but they have worked hard to overcome this adversity and earned their grades through what has been a thorough and robust process. The fact that so many of our students have achieved their preferred next steps, be it at university or in the workplace, in the UK or further afield, is terrific news. I’m confident, not only that the grades they’ve received are a true reflection of their ability, but that the experience they have had over the past year has made them even more resilient as they head into a modern and changing world. I’d also like to place on record my thanks to their teachers and my colleagues on the operational staff at Brentwood, who have provided outstanding support within and beyond the classroom to ensure our students have grown into the very best version of themselves, which is our ultimate goal.”
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