Our 2021 public exam cohorts have faced 18 months of turbulence and uncertainty: virtual learning; hybrid learning; quarantines; lateral flow testing; year group bubbles and social distancing. Due to continuing restrictions imposed by Covid, public examinations across England were cancelled for the second year running. The change to Teacher Awarded Grades called for a rigorous examination of evidence from all pupils. Following the the national pattern, we have seen an increase in the number of top grades awarded at both GCSE and A Level and the number of pupils achieving a clean sweep of A*s or grade 9s has increased, too. However, in many ways, this is not a year to be focussing on numbers and percentages. What is more important is the way in which our U6 and Fifth Form rose to the many challenges they faced and readily adapted to new ways of learning. In doing so they have shown incredible resilience and determination which will set them in good stead for the future.
Most of our U6 have had their firm or insurance university places confirmed, with pupils progressing to some of our most prestigious universities. This year we have seen 123 students accepting their firm choice of university and a further 4 their insurance choice. We have pupils off to the likes of St Andrew’s, Durham, Imperial College, Exeter, Warwick, UCL, Edinburgh and Nottingham. The courses they have chosen are wide ranging and include maths, law, English, economics, engineering, geography, Chinese, classics, interior design and computer sciences. Bancroft’s is delighted that 17 of its pupils will be studying medicine or dentistry this year and two will be taking Art Foundation courses. Particular congratulations to our ten successful Oxbridge candidates. The competition for places at Oxford and Cambridge is always extremely tough, but this year online interviewing and lockdown restrictions brought new challenges. Ben (Economics & Management), I-Cenay (Classics) and Vishaali (Geography) have secured places at Oxford. Max, Jathusan (both Mathematics) Hannah (History and Politics), Albina (Economics), Karan (Law), Kyrill (Engineering) and Lamees (Medicine) will be off to Cambridge.
The majority of our Fifth Form will return to Bancroft’s in September to join our Sixth Form and we hope their A level experience will be more “normal” and settled. Others are moving on from Bancroft’s and we wish those every success in their futures.
We thank all staff who worked so hard to support all pupils in public examination years, they too have faced new challenges.
Following the challenges these two year groups faced and overcame, they will be very well placed to navigate life’s usual uncertainties, as well as whatever new ones might emerge, with great confidence and a broad perspective.Simon Marshall, Head