Thursday 4 January saw the annual celebration of GCSE and A level successes at Oxford Spires Academy.
This year, the East Oxford school welcomed Cllr. Jean Fooks, Lord Mayor of Oxford, to speak to students, parents and teachers, and to present prizes and certificates.
Encouraging students at or near the end of their school years to makes the most of all the opportunities offered in life, Cllr. Fooks talked about the importance of confidence, and aiming for what mattered to them.
Listening carefully to her advice were a group of younger students, from Year 8 upwards, who were nominated for House awards – high achievers who helped lead others in drama, music, sport and other extra-curricular opportunities at OSA.
The school took the opportunity to congratulate all students who met personal goals in the summer exams, but at the same time awarded prizes to those who scored best in subjects at GCSE and A level.
High achievers at both levels won awards, with many overcoming personal challenges to do so.
Of particular note were top students Vivien Urban and Helen Woods. Helen, who gained 9 GCSE grades at A*, alongside grades 7, 8 and 9, beat others very close to her to snatch the prize at that level.
Former Head Girl, Vivien Urban, arrived at OSA in Year 10 from Hungary, and learnt English as a beginner. She secured the A level prize with A*AAB grades and is now studying English Literature at St Andrew’s University.
The evening was brought to a conclusion by the current Head Girl, Jolaade Agunbiade Oke, who thanked Cllr. Fooks, and summed up the students’ pride in their achievements and their school.
OSA’s Principal, Marianne Blake, who took over the Academy in September 2017, was delighted to see the celebration of students’ success last summer. ‘Oxford Spires is a very special place’, she comments. ‘It’s a family environment, supporting young people through what is a very stressful exam time.
‘We’re so pleased to see them achieve their best – and to progress to university or employment. A night like tonight is when we see some of them back from their first months away from school and it’s wonderful to see them as mature, responsible and enthusiastic participants in a wider community now.’