Newark Academy students' GCSE results reveal promising futures
Those collecting their GCSE results at Newark Academy were credited for their resilience and tenacity throughout what was an unprecedented time in education.
Elizabeth Gibson, of Newark, had to travel back nine hours on the train from a holiday in North Wales to collect her results.
Having picked geography as a back-up subject, Elizabeth said she had found a love for it — and now wants to pursue it as a career.
"Originally I wanted to do art instead of geography, but there weren't enough to run the subject for art craft," she said. "So, we did it after school.
"It turns out though that I just love geography, so it was probably the right decision. Now, it's something I can see myself doing as a career, and pursue it at university.
"It has been a struggle in coronavirus — especially doing art in lockdown because we didn't have all of our art supplies, having left everything at school because we thought it was only going to be for two weeks.
"We managed to come together in the last year and I managed to get six nines, four eights, and four in art — it wasn't my best subject but I worked hard in it.
"Im going to sixth form here to study geography, maths, chemistry and sociology.
"My dad is with me and we have to travel back to Wales today for our holiday. It took us nine hours to get here yesterday, so a long journey back."
Friends Charlotte Thompson and Katie Mills both chose the same subject; geography, business, PE and child development — and both did exceedingly well.
The pair achieved top grades in all their chosen subjects, the equivalent of nines all round.
"Sometimes during the pandemic, it has been easy not to be bothered but I just had to get on with it," said Charlotte.
"The school has been helpful, set us loads of things to do in order to carry on.
"My mum and dad are going to be really happy."
They will both stay on at the sixth form to do English literature, business, geography and psychology.
Katie added: "I really enjoyed the subjects in year seven and eight and thought they would be the best for me.
"When working at home, it was difficult to stay motivated but I just got up and did it. I just had to do it and get it over with, and knew the teachers were putting in a lot of effort.
"I'm going out for breakfast now as a celebration."
Omotola Olusi-Mason achieved three nines, two eights and four sevens - fantastic results.
"I did really well," she said.
"I feel relieved really that I've got the results I really wanted to study at sixth form. I want to study biology, chemistry, maths and history.
"It's going to be difficult but the school has definitely prepared me and been great with revision because of covid and everything, very helpful.
"Sometimes it's been difficult to motivate myself, but when we had to isolate while doing our mocks — it was specifically really hard for those few weeks."
University of Cambridge hopeful Olivier Bodja said he got more than he wanted.
"I'm hard working so it has all paid of," he said. "All nines.
"I'm hoping to go to the grammar school in Grantham; doing maths, further maths, economics, computing and politics. However, I may have to drop one because it may be a bit too much.
"After sixth form I hope to go to Warwick University or maybe Cambridge — aim high I guess.
"I found it easier during coronavirus because I didn't have to remember for exams, just showed what I knew during a stressful situation.
"It was all about showing how much work you could do, which I liked. The pressure was a lot less."
Senior leader at the school Steve Brown said: “After one of the most unique years for year 11 students, we are delighted that students have today received excellent results that will provide the foundation for their future successes. Students have contended with incredible uncertainty throughout the past 12 months and they truly are a credit to themselves.
"The combination of in-school and remote learning has only added to the inevitable challenges that come hand-in-hand with GCSEs, and the resilience and tenacity students have demonstrated has been second to none.
"Students will now advance to a number of post-16 destinations ready for whatever challenges come their way. The vast majority of the year 11 cohort are remaining at Newark Academy to continue their studies in our sixth form (NA6) and we look forward to welcoming them back in September.
"Teachers have also had to work incredibly hard to ensure students have been well-prepared to achieve the very best and we are proud of the incredible efforts our staff have contributed towards this process. We wish all our students good luck in their future endeavours and thank them for their contribution towards Newark Academy.”