Summer holidays are usually a lesson in lazy days, topping up the tan, and getting up as late as possible.
But if there is one day that bucks the trend, GCSE Results Day is it. After all, no other time of the year will see so many 16-year-olds up and alert at six am, anxiously refreshing their computer screens.
But their nerves were unfounded because, just like last week’s A-level results, Jewish students and their schools did themselves proud.
Hasmonean was named The Times’ top non-selective state school in the UK for the third year running, with 93 per cent of all students attaining a C grade or above. Out of 158 year 11 pupils, 57 per cent received an A or A*.
Andrew McClusky, head of the boys’ campus, said he was “absolutely delighted”, but stressed the importance of focusing on each student’s own progress. “We are more set on the pupil achieving his or her potential, rather than scoring headlines,” he said. “At Hasmonean, attitudes and values come first, results second. I am convinced that they are inextricably linked.
“It is far more important to breed decent human beings than those who only perform academically. Their decency will stay with them for the rest of their lives, while their academic achievements will be another string to their bow of success.”
In Redbridge, King Solomon High School reported a pass rate of 98 per cent, with 76 per cent at a C or above.
Acting headteacher Dr Paul Doherty revealed that five pupils had gained an A or above in all their exams, while the number who received a C or above in English and Maths had risen to 65 per cent since last year. “We will continue to build on this success and next year’s results will be even better,” he said.
Yavneh College, Borehamwood, saw 83 per cent of its pupils achieve a C grade or higher, with 69 per cent achieving A*s and As. Special mention went to Oliver Boyne, 16, who swept the board with 10 A*s, and Adam Steinberg, 16, who received nine A*s and two As.
Headteacher Spencer Lewis said: “The pupils have done so well and I am proud of them all. I am also very grateful to the dedicated team of teachers who work so hard in preparing them.”
JFS celebrated a pass rate of 99.9 per cent. While 50 per cent of the 298 students achieved an A or A*, 69 garnered an A or above in at least nine exams, a record number for the Kenton school.
Head Jonathan Miller said the students had set “the highest of benchmarks” which “enabled them to proceed to the next stage of their education with confidence”.
In Bushey, Immanuel College was celebrating its best results since 2007, with 96 per cent attaining a C grade or higher. More than 60 per cent achieved an A or above, while all those who took further maths, art and Hebrew finished with an A or A*.
Headteacher Charles Dormer said: “We are most proud of how diverse our success is. Everyone here can find something they are good at.
“This school was founded by Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits to prove that Torah learning and success in educational learning not only go together, but complement each other perfectly. We exist to prove that.”
JCoSS, East Barnet, celebrated high marks among its year 10 students who took their science and statistics GCSEs early — the first time the school has sat public exams since it opened in 2010.
In statistics, more than 90 per cent achieved a C or above, while in science this rose to 95 per cent.
Headteacher Patrick Moriarty said: “They are excellent first fruits, and augur well for the full set of results to come this time next year.”
In Manchester, King David High School reported a 100 per cent pass rate. Special credit went to Matthew Demby, Joel Levy, Ciara Samuels and Rebecca Tuck, who each had 12 A*s.
Nearby, the Manchester Mesivta School, Prestwich, said it was delighted with results, given they are taken at least a year early at the age of 15 or in some cases as early as 14. Eighty-eight per cent achieved a C or above.
Pupils at King David High School, Liverpool, also excelled, with 81 per cent achieving a C or above, and 47 per cent receiving their English Baccalaureate.
So with Results Day closed, students settled down for the evening with marks in hand and places secured at their sixth forms of choice — the promise of a lazy day lie-in happily restored.