Anxiety over her A-level results roused JFS pupil Sophie Learman from her sleep at 4.30 in the morning. By 10.30 she could breathe more easily as she discovered that she had achieved the results she required to study linguistics at Leeds.
Sophie was among many pupils — some accompanied by parents — who gathered nervously at the JFS premises in Kenton last Thursday morning to discover how they had fared.
In most cases, the news was good as the school recorded record results, with 83 per cent of exams passed at grades between A*-B this year and almost 15 per cent of students achieving at least one A*. Seventy-seven attained at least three A grades.
Top achievers included Rachel Grabiner, who received A*s in maths and chemistry and As in biology and economics. “I’m still in shock,” she said, “I only got back from RSY camp last night so I think I need to go back to bed.” But she was sufficiently awake to congratulate schoolmate Jemma Green, who achieved A*s in history, politics and psychology. Jemma paid tribute to the “amazing support from my teachers — it’s such a nice end to my time at JFS.”
Not all the students had immediate plans for university. Katie Hamilton was “very undecided” about whether to study politics at Bristol university or take a gap year. Joel Rosenberg was set to fly to Tanzania the following day to spend the year travelling, volunteering and gaining work experience. With three A*s, Joel intends to study medicine when he returns. Jonathan Davis, who received two A*s and two As, had already started his gap year studying at a yeshivah.
Chesney Ovsiowitz seemed calm as a crowd of teachers and students looked over his shoulder to see his anxiously anticipated results.
With an A for English, A* for biology, A* for chemistry, A* for maths and an A for French, Chesney will study French and English at Oxford. Gil Reich will also be at Oxford thanks to A*s for biology, chemistry and physics. “I’m elated, it’s difficult to believe,” said the Bill Bryson science competition prize winner.
David Miron, Alexander Vukadinovic and Kirstie Trup — one of the victims of the acid attack in Zanzibar — were among those who achieved three A*s.
Josh Abraham and Jessica-Lynn Joseph were suitably all smiles when they discovered that their grades qualified them to study dentistry at university. The two were the only budding dentists in their year.
Among the proud parents was “a typical Jewish mum, bursting with pride” — Esther Webb with “very happy” daughter, Katie. JFS parent Eric Alter tightly hugged his son, Alex, when they read his results, two As and a B, which guaranteed him a spot at Leeds. Mr Alter said: “The school has done a great job, I can’t praise the school and the teachers highly enough.”
Mr Alter was not alone in praising JFS. Sasha Brooks credited her teachers for her place at Cambridge University. The humanities student scored 100 per cent in history plus As for English and drama. “I couldn’t have applied to Cambridge without the support of my teachers,” she said.
JFS head Jonathan Miller said “the results reflect the outstanding academic achievement of our students”.