Barnet A-Level students celebrate exam success


Students from The Compton School, North Finchley

Students from The Compton School, North Finchley

Barnet students celebrated their A-Level results today (18 August), with many schools across the borough having reported achieving their best ever results, despite all the challenges of the last two years.

Most exams and assessments did not take place in 2019/20, or 2020/21 academic years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this cohort of students experienced public exams for the first time ever.

Over the last five years, A-Level results in Barnet have consistently been in the top 5% of the country. Among those receiving their results were pupils from East Barnet School in East Barnet and The Compton School in North Finchley.

East Barnet School

Adwoa Owusu, 18, achieved one A*, one A, one B and one C and will be starting a Degree Apprenticeship with the Bank of England, whilst studying Economics part-time at the University of Kent.

She said: “I’m really pleased with my results and looking forward to starting my apprenticeship with the Bank of England. I did a lot of research into degree apprenticeships and thought it would be a great route for me to take. I found the role through the NotGoingToUni website, and the entire process took around four months and included virtual interviews and assessments. My family are all really pleased.”

Isabelle Nash, 18, Head Girl at East Barnet School, achieved three A*s to secure her place to study English Literature at Kings College London.

She said: “When I logged on this morning and was waiting in the queue to get my results, it was nerve-racking, especially as we hadn’t had the experience of sitting GCSE exams.

I put in a lot of hard work in including some all-night revision sessions, and it’s all paid off. My parents didn’t go to university so they’re really excited and proud of me.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here and sad to be leaving East Barnet School, the support from teachers has been incredible.”

Adam Craig, 18, received three A*s and one A. He will be heading to Oxford University to study Law.

He said: “I feel relieved that it’s all over and I’ve got the results I worked so hard for. My mum’s more excited than me, she knows how much I’ve wanted this.

“The process wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be and I felt confident coming out of the exams. It feels bittersweet to be leaving school, but I have a few friends who are also attending Oxford so it will be nice to already know people there.”

Thomas Brooks-Belcher, 18, achieved three A*s. He will shortly be starting a Law degree at Nottingham University.

He said: “There’s been a lot of uncertainty around grades being lower this year, so I’m over the moon to have achieved these results. I’m really looking forward to starting at Nottingham and excited for the new independence and responsibilities.”

Leann Swaine, Headteacher at East Barnet School said: “Two years ago during their GCSE’s, I was so terribly sad for these students that they did not get a chance to prove themselves after the hours and hours of hard work they had put into preparing for their exams. We have had a nearly ten per cent increase in the number of A/A* grades since 2019, and that is down to the hard work of our families, staff and of course wonderful students. I simply could not be prouder and wish them all every success.”

The Compton School

Twins Meriona and Edma, 18, received three A’s each and have secured places at Southampton University together to study Business Management and Accounting and Finance.

Meriona said: “I feel really happy that I was able to make my teachers proud. And we both got the same grades so there’s no competition!”

Edma said: “It’s the opposite of anti-climactic, whatever that is! Opening my envelope was such a happy surprise for me – I had read a lot about how the grades would be different to last year, so I was worried. But I feel ecstatic!”

Marriam, 18, achieved three A*s. She will be heading to Manchester University to study Mechanical Engineering.

She said: “I feel really good. I did A Levels for three years as I had to retake Year 12, it was hard, but I’m so pleased with the results. COVID was really challenging, and I had to learn to work for independently. Compton has really supported me with this, the teachers have helped me so much, not just with work but with personal struggles too. I was given a new start here after attending a different Sixth Form and I can honestly say that Compton is the best – it’s the most supportive.

“If you find yourself in a position like I was at the end of Year 12 where you’re not happy with your subjects or your grades, know that it’s okay to retake. It really doesn’t affect your life in any negative way and, if anything, it boosts your confidence. Speak to your teachers about what is right for you.”

Councillor Pauline Coakley Webb, Chair of Children, Education & Safeguarding Committee, said: “It has been a tough time for students who had the extra pressure of sitting their first ever exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have done brilliantly and should be extremely proud.

“This year’s achievements demonstrate just how much hard work our pupils have put in and are a testament to the tremendous dedication of staff and the whole school community. Whether students are now moving onto higher education, apprenticeships or full-time work, there is a promising future for all in Barnet. I would like to congratulate all students across the borough and wish them all every success in the future.”

Students across the borough have also been receiving results from vocational courses (Applied General and Technical Level examinations and assessments) with schools today also reporting their highest number of Distinctions* and Distinctions.

Many students at Barnet schools study a combination of A Level’s and Level 3 Applied Generals and students with vocational qualifications are going onto exciting courses next year, including: studying Law at SOAS University of London, studying Sport and Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, studying Business at Greenwich University, studying Financial Technology at Southampton, Accounting trainee apprenticeship for ACCA Chartered Accounting, Special Effects for Film and TV, Psychology, Theatre Design and Production and Criminology at Middlesex, City University and Bolton University. 

Support for students

More information on career advice can be found online.

The Barnet Council website has a range of information on the support available to young people including Kooth, a free, anonymous and 24/7 online counselling service for young people between ages 11 and 24. For more information visit: