Delighted pupils across the UAE are celebrating after receiving their GCSE results on Thursday morning.
School principals praised young learners who achieved spectacular results when grades were assessed, after the pandemic for a second consecutive year forced formal exams to be scrapped.
Teachers used a method of combining pupils’ performances in mock exams, coursework and essays to establish grades.
The impressive results mirror the performances of A-level pupils who received their grades earlier this week.
“I’m really happy with my results and I would like to say a really big thank you to all my teachers who’ve supported me continuously over the past two years and helped me become the person I am today,” said Gems Wellington International School pupil George Moussa, from Egypt, who achieved six grade nines.
A result system based on a grading of one to nine was established in 2017, with a nine grade being the highest possible score – the equivalent of a high A*, and a grade eight representing a lower A* result.
"It is with immense pride that I congratulate the Year 11 students today,” said Simon Jodrell, principal of Dubai British School Emirates Hills.
“The commitment to a two-year course in such uncertain times has been incredible.
“Today they have been rightly rewarded with a set of outstanding results that both reflects their personal effort and achievements and will stand them in good stead as they enter the sixth form.”
The pass rate at Dubai British School Emirates Hill was 100 per cent, with 38 per cent of students achieving the equivalent of an A* grade.
Pupils in the UK were also expected to post record results on Thursday, reflecting the trend in the UAE.
Dubai’s Safa Community School also enjoyed a 100 per cent pass rate, much to the delight of principal Leanne Frid who praised the staff and pupils at the school for achieving such high results.
“Our teaching staff have worked incredibly hard to ensure our students were provided with the opportunities to succeed despite facing so many challenges throughout the year,” she said.
“I also want to congratulate our students as I know what a hard 12 months this has been, but these results are a reflection of their hard work.”
Rebecca Coulter, principal of Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, said the school’s 100 per cent pass rate, despite the pandemic, was a huge achievement.
“The results are a vindication of the hard work by both the pupils and teachers,” she said.
“We are super proud of them all, it’s been a rocky year.”
One Emirati pupil was relieved to have scored so well in her results but had been extremely nervous about it beforehand.
“It was a nerve wracking experience when I was opening the email,” said Lora Atatreh, 16, of Brighton College Dubai, who is currently in Jordan with her family.
“I have never felt intimidated by an online message before but when I opened it and saw the results there was great relief.”
She said the six grades she from 7-9 would help her pursue her dream of becoming an architectural engineer.
Schools and pupils in Abu Dhabi were also overjoyed at the results achieved.
“I was delighted to see all the hard work pay off and I have to thank my teachers for being so incredibly helpful,” said Kai Bevan, 16, from Brighton School Abu Dhabi, who received 11 grade 9 results.
“I want to be able to use these grades to help me go on and study to be a doctor.”
Vinuth Ratnayake, from British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, said his 11 grade 8 and 9s would not have been possible without the support of his parents and teachers.
“Without that support I would have found it extremely difficult,” he said.
Pupils have thrived in difficult circumstances after the Covid-19 pandemic changed the face of education.
“This year’s GCSE results at Brighton College Abu Dhabi are outstanding, and after nearly two years of really difficult circumstances, our pupils thoroughly deserve them,” said Simon Corns, headmaster of Brighton College Abu Dhabi, where a third of students received a grade nine result.
“I pay warm tribute to our wonderful pupils and to their outstanding teachers who, together, secured these fantastic results.”