Bedford School celebrated record GCSE results this summer – our best since 2010, and our second best on record. With over 68% of exams graded at A*- A (or number grade equivalent), and a remarkable 22% of grades awarded at Grade 9, the new highest possible grade (against 4.3% nationally), we spoke to some of the boys who achieved a clean sweep of straight A*s, to hear about their journey in the lead-up to their exams.
Oscar Hill’s Fifth Form year was quite extraordinary after collapsing with heart failure, during school, at the start of the academic year. Thanks to our fast-acting medical staff who performed CPR on Oscar to keep him alive, he was rushed to hospital, and soon transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where he underwent emergency heart surgery. Oscar told us that his recovery went very well and, despite the enormity of the operation, he was able to start back at school for the second half of the autumn term (albeit staying off Games for that period). He puts much of his success down to the unwavering support of his family and the school who were both extremely helpful and supportive during his recovery process. The school offered help with catching up on missed lessons, and his teachers provided cover work while he was out of school. Oscar has chosen to study his four favourite subjects: Maths, RE, Biology and Latin at A-Level and is hoping to study Psychology at Cambridge.
Novo Ukiri is a boarder, who humbly explained that he owes a great deal of his success to his boarding house tutors, who helped him maintain his focus during study leave. Novo is a keen footballer, who proudly captained the undefeated U16 A football team. He also played rugby for the first time last year and made the U16 B team. He was hugely pleased to open his results and proud of himself for doing his best, which, he says, is the most important part. He is now studying Further Maths, Maths, Physics and Biology at A-Level, and hopes to study Engineering or Biology at a top UK university.
Lucas Inman admits that he felt under a fair bit of pressure in the lead up to his exams, especially as his older sister had done so well in her GCSEs the previous year. Lucas’ parents were instrumental in providing support and understanding during this period. He also thanked his teachers who offered countless revision resources and would meet him at a moment’s notice to discuss specific topics. Additionally, when it came to revising for his exams, he found the resources on the school e-learning extremely helpful as they allowed him to comprehensively cover all the necessary topics for each subject.
Lucas told us, “I opened my results via the pupil portal straight after getting up on Thursday morning. To be honest, while I had hoped for the best possible results, realistically I never expected to receive the marks that I did. So I was, as you would expect, delighted with my results.”
Lucas, who is also a keen sportsman: playing for the cricket A team, hockey A team and rugby B team, as well as playing the guitar to a high standard, is now studying Maths, Biology, Chemistry and History at A-Level. For now, his future plans are open!
Flik Feng achieved an excellent set of results while juggling his studies alongside his impressive music activities. Flik, who gained the ABRSM Diploma in Piano and Grade 8 in singing (Flik is a member of our Chapel Choir), is one of the school’s chapel organists and has just started to learn the flute. If this list was not impressive enough, Flik was invited to spend a week working with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra after winning a top place in their ‘Very Young Composers Workshop’. He will continue with his music while studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Music at A-Level.
Almost a fifth of the year group achieved at least eight A*s and although we can’t feature a story on all of them, they certainly deserve a mention.
These twelve boys achieved a clean sweep of A*s:
Ho Hin Lam
Seventeen boys achieved at least 8 A*s:
Yong Benedict Siow
Naday Ali Aftab