Pupils’ hard work pays off as 15 students at same school get all top grades

Hard-working students have been celebrating at King Edward VI High School for Girls, where 15 of its pupils passed every subject with the highest grade.

Among those securing a clean sweep was Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate, Aliyah Begum, and Alicia Daley, who earned her results despite being diagnosed with two chronic illnesses in Year 8.

In all, 15 out of the cohort of 94 achieved passes in all their subjects with 9s – the highest attainable grade.

GCSE results
Aliyah Begum, who got all grade 9s, with her GCSE results (Jacob King/PA)

More than two-thirds of all students taking GCSEs at the school in Edgbaston, Birmingham, passed with grades 7 to 9, which is the equivalent of A to A*.

Among the high achievers was Alexandra Akins, who got an assisted place at the school in Year 7, and has gone on to earn four 9s, five 8s, and a grade 7.

The 16-year-old, from Nechells, Birmingham, declared she had been “a bit nervous” before opening her results in the school hall, with her mother Lorell Akins.

But the language-loving student, who is going to take Russian, French, Latin and English literature at A-level, said: “I’m very happy.”

GCSE results
Alexandra Akins with her mother Lorell (Jacob King/PA)

Her mother, a 54-year-old family support worker for Birmingham Children’s Trust, said: “I’m just so proud.

“I know how hard she’s worked and it’s been a heck of a journey.

“Just because you’re on an assisted place, you don’t have to feel that pressure.

“You can achieve, it doesn’t matter where we come from, the sky’s the limit.

“It’s like I tell everyone, if you’ve got big dreams, go for it.”

Aliyah, who is the city’s current young poet laureate, said the role had allowed her to have a “break” from the GCSE revision.

But she was most proud of landing a grade 9 pass – one of 10 – in history, adding “history was really hard”.

She also attained an A grade, the highest achievable in the subject, for additional maths.

Alicia Daley, who was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia as a 13-year-old, also earned a clean sweep of grade 9 passes.

She said: “There was a time I didn’t think I’d do very well.

“I thought it was impossible.”

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Emily Fox, left, who got all grade 9s, hugs a friend (Jacob King/PA)

Emily Fox, who also landed 10 grade 9 passes, was in tears as she celebrated with friends and teachers, while her mother and father Katherine Burton and Michael Fox looked on proudly.

The 16-year-old said: “I’m just really happy.

“I worked so hard and put in so much work.

“I was so worried, and in maths I thought the exam was terrible.

“I told everyone I was going to fail that.”

She added: “After all the exams, I didn’t think I’d done well and wasn’t sure what I was going to do.”

Mrs Burton, 55, said: “She always underestimates herself.

“I have to admit I felt a little sick this morning and nervous, because she has worked really hard.”

Paying tribute to all the pupils, principal Ann Clark said: “These remarkable results are a tribute to the girls’ hard work, determination and ambition, together with the professionalism and inspiration offered by our dedicated team of staff.

“We are delighted to be celebrating today with our students and their families.”

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