King’s Academy student comes out on top

The King's Academy

Thursday, 23rd August 2018

King’s Academy student comes out on top

DEAF student proves disability is no barrier to success

A DEAF student has proven that her disability is no barrier to success after she came out on top of her year group in today’s GCSEs.

Olviya Silvary achieved eight coveted grade 9s and one grade 8 at The King’s Academy, where around ten per cent of students have visual and hearing impairments.

Olviya, 16, of Acklam, who was born deaf, said: “I’m so overjoyed, I cried! I thought I might get 7s and 8s and maybe one 9.

“I’m pretty self-sufficient at school and haven’t really needed to rely on support. That might change when I’m doing A Levels in maths, physics, German and English literature. I know there’s help if I need it but I’m just with everyone in the mainstream.”

In all, 11 students at the academy in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, achieved at least three grade 9s, contributing to a record-breaking year group.

With 67 grade 9s overall among the Year 11s, students, on average, achieved two grades higher than last year's cohort, who themselves were record-breakers.

Closely following Olviya were Bailey Walters, with six 9s, an 8 and two grade 7s; Maheen Khan, with five 9’s, an 8, 7, 6 and 5; talented artist Hasna Javid, with four 9s, four 8s and a 6; and Thomas Sutton, who played the Mad Hatter in the academy’s production of Alice in Wonderland and Lumiere in Beauty & the Beast, with four 9s, three 8s, a 6 and a 5.

Bailey, 16, of Coulby Newham, said: “It’s a lot better than I thought I would get. In the exams I focused on explaining myself really well, which helped a lot in English, history and RE I think. I’ve been here since year 7 and the teaching staff have been really good all the way through. I’ve consistently been able to do my best.”

Thomas, who achieved four grade 9s, three 8s, a 6 and a 5, while doing school productions and contemporary dance at the Centre for Advanced Training in Dance City, Newcastle, said: “I’m really happy with the maths, drama and science as those are the subjects I wanted to do at A Level. The school production was early in the year but I still had to attend rehearsals and then go home and revise afterwards, so it was hard but worth it.”

Hasna, 16, of Coulby Newham, added: “Science and geography were subjects I thought I’d only get 7s in and yet I did really well in those. I did structure my revision but, I won’t lie, I was on my phone a lot of the time, it’s a bad distraction. So I’m really happy to have done this well and I wouldn’t have wanted to go to any other school.”

Those achieving three grade 9s and a string of other high grades were Christopher May, Nicholas Wood, Alice Bedford, Matthew Richardson, Max Bashir and Azeem Akhtar.

In mathematics, nearly a quarter of students achieved at least a grade 7 (old grade A), with 21 students gaining 8s and 9s, while in religious education 23 students achieved grade 8s and 9s.

One-in-seven got a 9 in history, while science accounted for one-third of the Academy's overall haul of 9s.

Principal David Dawes said: “This was by far the toughest year for students in the last few decades and tested the mettle and resilience of our amazing students with newly reformed subjects with more content to learn; nearly 50 per cent more exams to take; less time to study new courses that were only approved in mid-2016; and less familiarity with courses amongst teaching staff.

“Strong GCSE results for students form an excellent basis of understanding of the world and for further study including A Levels; we know that universities and employers alike value them very highly as indicators of students' abilities.

“We are extremely proud of our fabulous young men and women, many of whom are looking forward to becoming the senior students as Sixth Formers at The King's Academy.”