Bright and exciting futures beckon for QE’s pandemic-era A-level students

Bright and exciting futures beckon for QE’s pandemic-era A-level students

Queen Elizabeth’s School Year 13 pupils were today basking in the brilliance of outstanding A-level results that will propel them into top degree courses at world-leading universities.

In a second challenging, Covid-hit year, 39 boys confirmed their Oxbridge offers, while 26 boys have won places to read Medicine, including 11 at UCL alone, where the medical school is ranked in the global top ten.

Eighteen pupils were awarded places on ‘pure’ Economics courses, not counting several others joining courses with an Economics element, such as Economics & Geography and Oxford’s famous Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) course.

The results, which reflect the year group’s consistently high standards of work over many months, add to QE’s long-term record of excellence at the highest levels: 2021 is the 16th consecutive year in which the proportion of A*–B grades achieved by QE pupils has exceeded 95%. A total of 57 boys – more than a third of the 163-strong cohort – are recorded as having achieved straight A* grades.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “The boys’ hard work and resolve during the pandemic are well demonstrated by these deserved grades, and today gives us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate their efforts and their excellence.

“While the results data can’t be directly compared to those from other years, as it has been a unique set of circumstances, at QE we have been rigorous in drawing upon a range of highly credible evidence on which to base our teacher assessed grades.”

This evidence includes the post-Easter examinations, which gave pupils a final opportunity to show what they could do and demonstrate the fruits of their dedication during the lockdowns.

Mr Enright pointed out that the cohort’s Sixth Form experience has been very different from the norm, not only in terms of the way academic performance is assessed – with no final A-level examinations – but also in terms of the repeated switches between online and on-site lessons and extra-curricular activities.

“They have shown notable adaptability, determination, spirit and humour in navigating this situation. They will be equipped with skills of independent learning beyond those of previous year groups, which will stand them in strong stead for the next phase of their studies.

“Moreover, they can look forward to exciting futures, having secured fantastic university offers as a year group. Staff remain on hand to offer support to anyone who needs it.

“We do regret that Year 13 have necessarily missed out on some of the activities and opportunities that would normally characterise our Sixth Form experience. On the positive side, over their entire QE careers, they have certainly contributed to the extra-curricular life of the School. This group includes some of our first robotics competitors, while boys have also made their mark in sport, drama and music. As they reached the senior years, they have served as role models and leaders to younger pupils, both through mentoring and through specific endeavours, such as setting up our pupil-led Perspective initiative.

“In this most challenging year, QE leavers at least can make their next steps with confidence. We are proud of this cohort of confident, able and responsible Elizabethans and trust that they and their families are, too. We very much hope that they will stay connected with the School, and each other, for many years to come.”