DUBAI // Pupils celebrated their GCSE results, outperforming their counterparts in the UK once again.
Hundreds collected their results on Thursday, with some far exceeding their expectations.
Hannah Abouzour, 16, from Palestine, was stunned when she opened her results envelope in front of teachers at Gems Wellington International School.
“I got eight A* and two As and I can’t believe it,” she said.
“I wasn’t expecting these results because the marking system had been changed.
“I thought I’d struggle in physics but I managed to get an A*.”
She also got A* in maths, chemistry, biology, English literature, media, Arabic and business.
Hannah planned to take her A-Levels at Jumeirah College.
“My eventual aim is to study architectural engineering at a university in Dubai.”
Fellow student Adam Khan-Qureshi, 16, from the UK, was also surprised at how well he did.
“I got four A*, five As and a B,” he said. “The exam papers were quite hard this year, and I didn’t think I had done that well.
He got A* in economics, biology, chemistry and maths.
He planned to join the International Baccalaureate programme at the same school and go into medicine.
Ruth Burke, principal at Gems Wellington International School, was delighted with the students’ results.
“We have a wide spectrum of pupils with differing abilities,” she said.
In all, 147 students at the school sat their IGCSE/GCSEs and were provided with support every step of the way, she said.
More than 1,300 pupils took the exams across Gems network of British schools, with 42 per cent getting an A* to A grade.
Most Gems schools recorded improvements in their results.
Jumeirah College in Dubai hit 64 per cent A* to A grades and one pupil got 12 A* and one A.
Almost half of students got eight plus A* to A grades, and 100 per cent achieved five or more A* to C grades overall, compared with the UK average of 66.9 per cent.
Cambridge High School students had 49 per cent A* to A grades. Not to be outdone, pupils at Dubai College got 82.1 per cent in A* to A grades.
“On the basis of last year’s league table, this would make us the 12th best mixed independent school in the UK,” said Michael Lambert, headmaster at Dubai College.
“Not only can the UAE proudly claim to have the top performing A Level and GCSE school in the Middle East and Africa, we are actually right up in the top few highest performing British schools overseas in the world.”
It was a similar story at Dubai British School, as the school celebrated it’s best GCSE results.
In all, 53 per cent of all students got at least an A* to A grade, with 99 per cent getting at least five A* to C grades and 18 per cent achieving 10 A* to A grades.
“These figures are significantly higher than UK national averages, setting our students up wonderfully for a successful A-Level experience,” said Brendon Fulton, principal of Dubai British School.