A-Level results: Talented students heading to Oxbridge as Ilford County High School achieves second best results ever
PUBLISHED: 12:11 16 August 2013 | UPDATED: 13:18 16 August 2013
A set of high-flyers from Ilford County High School are heading off to Oxford and Cambridge this autumn after receiving a staggering 17 A* and A grades in their A-Levels.
Oliver Wallen, Dmitry Manning-Coe, Joe Prince and Abhishek Ambekar celebrated their success on a day where the school achieved its second best results ever.
The proportion of A* results was approximately 22% and 83% of the teens took home A-B grades.
Six students altogether from the year will now be taking up Oxbridge places.
Oliver, who will join Homerton College at Cambridge, received A* grades in biology and chemistry and an A in maths.
He said: “I feel fantastic. I didn’t want to look in case [I did badly] as there was so much pressure.
“I thought I might as well apply for Cambridge, but I thought at every stage I wouldn’t get through. I’m really happy.”
Oliver, who will study natural sciences, has faced adversity during his time in education.
He suffered a few strokes aged just 13 and 14, due to the fact he has some extra bones.
One of the bones struck an artery in his neck, which caused the illness, and he was in hospital for two and a half months.
This affected the lead-up to his GCSEs and meant he was given extra time in his exams.
He said: “I was in there for a while and I missed out on learning things, but I just did it in my own time.”
Oliver managed to get through his illness and now hopes to develop a pharmaceutical career.
Dmitry also achieved sparkling results, receiving A* grades in maths and further maths, physics and Russian and an A in economics.
He will study physics and philosophy at Oxford.
Dmitry said: “I was definitely relieved [to get the results]. Before I didn’t really want to think about it, there was nothing more I could do anyway.”
He also joked that his Russian A-Level does not count, as he is originally from Russia.
Dmitry moved to England in 2000 with his older brother, who is studying at Loughborough University.
He called his mother back in Russia to deliver his good news.
Dmitry, who lives in South Woodford, will now join Magdalen College at Oxford this autumn.
Flying the flag for Cambridge is Abhishek, who received an impressive five A* grades.
He studied maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and an extended project.
Abhishek, from Clayhall, Ilford, will study natural sciences and may specialise in physics.
He said: “I’m excited to have made the offer, I was really hoping to get into Cambridge because my second choice was Imperial College London, so if I had gone there I would have had to stay in London and live at home.
“I wanted to have the experience of being independent.”
Abhishek chose the topic of wind farms and solar energy for his project, which involved researching the subject and writing 5,000 words on it over nine months.
He said of A-Levels: “Going from GCSE to A-Level is hard, the work is harder for the first few days but afterwards you get used to it.
“The subjects I was doing interested me, so I didn’t mind having the extra workload.”
Abhishek will join Churchill College and hopes to work in research or banking in the future.
Also pleased with his grades is Joe Prince, another student who is off to Oxford.
Joe bagged three A*s in maths, further maths and French and an A in history.
He said: “Getting the offer was amazing and it took the pressure off.
“Half an hour after I found out I was dancing around.”
Joe, who has chosen to study economics and management, will be in Hertford College.
He also visited Cambridge before deciding Oxford was the place for him.
He said: “I went to the Cambridge open day and someone kicked us out of one of the colleges for being too loud.
“It is open to interpretation, but Oxford I found more lively and it was pouring in Cambridge and really sunny in Oxford.
“That probably made a difference in some respects!”
Joe, who lives in Woodford Green, doesn’t have his heart set on a particular career, but may go into banking or journalism.
Ilford County headteacher Mike Capon said: “As far as we are concerned we have another set of great results.
“We have got lots of happy people.”
Head of sixth form Colin Jenkins added: “They are good kids who worked really hard. They got what they deserve.”
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