GCSE RESULTS DAY 2022: Washington Academy students talk about overcoming Covid challenges to achieve GCSE results to be proud of

Students at Washington Academy have overcome a range of challenges including the disruption of Covid to achieve “results to be proud of”.

All students at the school have seen their studies disrupted by the Covid pandemic but one student who was affected more than most was Kareena Jawanda, 16.

Jawanda, who achieved grades 5s and 7s and a distinction in BTEC Enterprise in Business and Media, said: “I’ve had Covid quite a few times and had to isolate and spend a lot of time out of school.

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"It’s been a really challenging last two years and to have to catch-up on all the knowledge you miss when not able to be in normal lessons was difficult which is why I’m even more pleased with my results, particularly Maths as I didn’t expect to get a 5.”

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It was a sentiment share by fellow pupil Natasha Lamb, 16, who scored 6s and 7s in all her subjects.

She said: “I had to isolate quite a few times and being in lockdown was really difficult as we didn’t know when we were going to be back in school or whether we would be taking our exams.

"There was a lot of online learning which isn’t the same as being with your teachers face to face which is why I think the grades students got this year are an even bigger achievement.

Washington Academy pupils Natasha Lamb, Katie Revell and Eleni Baker celebrate their GCSE results with deputy head teacher Liam Clark.

"I was really pleased to get a grade 6 in English Language as I was expecting a grade 4.”

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Classmate Rebecca Lloyd, 16, added: “It was really difficult in Year 10 due to lockdowns and a lot of teaching was on Microsoft Teams. But the teachers did their best to help and it’s shown in my results which were all 6s, 7s and 8s. I didn’t expect to get a 7 in Chemistry as I only got a 5 in my mock.

"I’m going to Newcastle College to study A-Level Geography, History and Sociology.”

Erica Thompson, 16, has succeeded in her exams after a "challenging year".
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Another student who performed well despite her own “personal challenges” was 16-year-old Erica Thompson who who attained grades 5s and 6s along with one 7.

She said: "I was really nervous and didn’t sleep last night but I’m happy with my results, particularly English Language.”

While the school’s admin staff were still processing results, headteacher Derek Austwick said he was proud of what students had achieved, particularly in light of the challenges faced.

He said: “ Everyone at Washington Academy would like to pass on their congratulations to our fantastic Year 11 students. The students have been through two major lockdowns and had massive disruption to their education. They have so much to be proud of, especially given the disruption to their education over the last two years.

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Kareena Jawanda, 16, celebrating her exam results. Kareena succeeded despite the disruption of contracting Covid "several times".

"One positive from the Covid pandemic is that students have developed resilience in difficult circumstances.

"Staff, students and parents have all come together to support our wonderful Year 11 students achieve their absolute best and thus allow them to be able to progress on to the next stage in their journey.”

Natasha Lamb, 16, giving the thumbs up to her GCSE exam results.
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Washington Academy pupil Rebecca Lloyd, 16, celebrating her GCSE exam results with headteacher Derek Austwick.
Washington Academy headteacher Derek Austwick said that students should be "proud" of their achievements.