Jewish schools rose to the challenge of this year’s new and more demanding A-level exams by surpassing expectations and even bettering last year’s success.
Almost a quarter of all A-level grades at Immanuel College were marked as A* in a bar-raising set of results from Jewish schools on Thursday.
Over half of all Immanuel students achieved the coveted top mark in one of their exams and a quarter registered A or A* in all their exams, in a set of grades that left the private college’s new leadership team swooning.
It was a dream start for headmaster Gary Griffin and deputy head Barnaby Nemko, who have been at the college for less than a year, and Griffin said he was “delighted” that the results were “even better than last year, despite the exams having been made more rigorous and demanding as a consequence of government reforms”.
Four Immanuel students are off to American universities and two – Alex Root and Jeremy Schiff – will go on to study Natural Sciences at the prestigious University of Cambridge.
Griffin added: “I would like to congratulate the students and their teachers who have worked so hard to achieve these magnificent grades which are thoroughly deserved.”
Across the city at JCoSS, results also “comfortably surpassed” those of last year, with 38 percent of grades at A or A* level.
Three students landed a quadruple set of A* grades, with Aviv Silver, Jack Margolis and Adam Gould on stellar form, while those scoring at least two A* grades included Josh Cowan, Zach Levenson, Noa Marson, Max Simmonds, Lucas Samuel, Talia Friend, Joe Rogove and Aliyah Kossoff.
Noa Marson is also off to Cambridge to study Natural Sciences along with six other JCoSS students who are going to Oxbridge or to study medicine.while Root and Schiff of Immanuel are also heading to Cambridge.
“We are delighted by another set of excellent results, the second whole cohort in our collection,” said JCoSS headteacher Patrick Moriarty.
“Both academic and vocational outcomes are testament to the exceptional hard work and dedication of staff and students alike, tackling new and demanding specifications in many subjects.”
Moriarty said it wasn’t just about the grades, however. “We are proud not only of the academic accomplishments of our students but of the qualities that have grown in them during their time at JCoSS.
“They leave as accomplished Mensches, embodying the values of the school and the wider community, and ready to act as ambassadors for both as they step forward on the next phase of their journey.”
At JFS, Europe’s biggest Jewish secondary school, almost half of all grades came in at A* or A, with astronomy wizz Segev Gonen Cohen registering a remarkable six A* results, and Zev Shirazi getting three A* and three As.
Others JFS students shining bright were Jack Kelly, Savanna Leboff, Hannah Masters, Reef Ronel, Uri Shine, Jonathan Bush, Georgia Cooper, Zak Hassell, Yasmin Lermer, Sasha Meir, Ava Sharpe and Tamar Toorgeman.
“In the first year of the new, more challenging linear A-levels, our students have demonstrated their ability and tenacity to meet the higher standard now demanded of sixth formers across the country,” said JFS head Rachel Fink and Sixth-Form head Anthony Flack in a joint statement.
Eight JFS students have Oxbridge offers, with two set to train as doctors and one enrolling on a marathon veterinary sciences course.
At Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree, which has many Jewish students, there were some personal successes, including for School Captain Max Goldstone, School Vice-Captain Jonathan Steltzer, and for Ricky Thake and Josh Baumring-Gledhill, who led RSY-Netzer camp over the summer.
Thake said he was “delighted and relieved at the same time” while Baumring-Gledhill, a senior prefect, said he was “over the moon”.
At nearby Yavneh College, headteacher Spencer Lewis paid tribute to an “incredible achievement” when news filtered through that 54 percent of grades were listed as A or A* level, with 30 percent of pupils gaining no less than A in all exams.
Leading the charge was Erin Waks with a superb set of four A* grades, while achieving at least two top-marks were Joseph Alfon, Noah Galibov, Zach Garcia, Nina Freedman, George Gross and Matti Brooks.
“We are delighted with these results,” said Lewis. “I am particularly pleased that they match and in some ways even improve on last year’s fantastic results, as A-level exams have become even harder over the last few years.”
At Hasmonean, a Modern Orthodox school in Barnet, 44 percent of students hit the coveted A* or A grade, with a sparkling Maths cohort in which 72 percent scored top marks.
Most will now go to yeshiva or seminary before taking up places at top universities. Would-be lawyer Natan Maurer, who got four A* results, is set for Cambridge, as is fellow student Yonina Jaffe, who plans to be a vet.
Hasmo head Andrew McClusky paid tribute to students who “have coped so well with the challenging A-level specifications this year,” while Hasmo Boys’ head Debbie Lebrett was “especially delighted by the progress students have made both academically and personally”.
Over at Kantor King Solomon, new head Hannele Reece beamed with pride as students excelled in several subjects, in particular Maths, Further Maths and Religious Studies.
Celebrating success were Oxford-bound biochemist Jack Palmer, who scooped three A* grades, together with Boris Bozhkov, budding psychologists Rachel Freedman and Hannah Doust, future engineer Zachary Igielman and UCL headed Sarah Lewis.
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