With 221 A*-A grades awarded, pupils at The Portsmouth Grammar School are today able to celebrate a strong set of A Level results.

53% of grades awarded to pupils were A*-A grade – 221 in total; 80% of grades awarded were A*-B; 96% were A*-C.

“This is a wonderfully committed year group, who have worked hard throughout their time in the Sixth Form, and brought a fantastic approach to every aspect of school life, despite the challenges of this year,” said Dr Anne Cotton, Head of The Portsmouth Grammar School. “They can be very proud of what they have achieved, and of the hard work, focus and resilience which underpin their academic progress.”

Pupils will now be moving on from PGS to study at a range of universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Imperial College London, Durham, St Andrews, Exeter, Cardiff, and Manchester, as well as in the United States, Canada and Italy. Pupils will be pursuing a wide range of courses, from Medicine, Engineering and Product Design to Art, Languages and Physiotherapy, to Economics and Business.

Celebrating with an ice cream today were two of the successful Oxbridge pupils, Matt Bryan and Alistair Wilson.  Alistair gained  4 A* grades and an A which takes him to read Natural Sciences at Cambridge; Matt achieved 4 A* grades that secured his place at Cambridge to read Engineering. “More than anything I am relieved,” said Matt. “It is great to be able to say I will be going to Cambridge instead of I hope to be.”  Matt was the winner of the Ithaka Prize this year with his project taking an engineers view of the Hour Record. “PGS Extend and the Ithaka Prize certainly put me in the right mindset for university applications and interviews,” continued Matt. “I look forward to doing lots of cycling when I get to Cambridge.” Matt and Alistair were joined by Rob Mitchell who gained A*AA grades that will take him on to university to read Chemistry.

Amongst the other pupils celebrating today is Sophie Mitchell who achieved 4 A* grades that will take her to Manchester to study Medicine. “I have loved my time at PGS, being the only one from my tiny primary school to join in Year 7,” said Sophie. “Over the years I have enjoyed so many different opportunities, from Ski Trips to musicals in the Kings Theatre. After achieving my GCSE results, I stayed on at the PGS Sixth Form where I was chair of the Whole School Council and a member of the Sixth Form council. We organised events from Secret Santa to Summer Bake Off and always put our ideas to Mr Rees, refusing to give in! I am off to study Medicine at Manchester next year and am so grateful for all the help that school has provided over this difficult time. I wish good luck to those getting GCSE results next week and the A-Level cohort next year!”

Outgoing Senior Prefect, Toby Amos, is also celebrating today having gained 3 A* grades and 2 A grades. “Obviously I’m really happy with my results and relieved too,” said Toby. “I am going to take a year out and re-apply for universities here and possibly in the United States for next year; I might look at the possibility of internships too. The opportunities PGS gave me were great and there is so much about my time there that I enjoyed. Thank you to everyone that made it possible, particularly with the William Smith Fund support, and to the teachers for their guidance along the way. I hope everyone else got the results they were hoping for and wish the best of luck to everyone at PGS for the future.”

Sara Eftekhari joined PGS for Sixth Form and today is celebrating gaining 3 A grades, she will be applying to study Data Science at university. Sara’s family came to the UK from Afghanistan as immigrants when she was 9 years old. “My family have never really felt that they belonged anywhere,” said Sara. “My grandparents left Afghanistan for Iran, but weren’t accepted there and then we left Iran for Afghanistan but realised (rather ironically) that Iranians saw us as Afghans and Afghans saw us as Iranians and that we were left in this weird middle ground of not fitting in anywhere. We came to the UK for a chance at a better life and the process of assimilating and integrating into a new culture and society was ,as expected,stressful. I kept my head down and tried to find solace and a sense of acceptance through academics and extracurricular achievements – being able to join PGS for Sixth Form with the financial support the school offered was an exciting moment. It has been a difficult time as my Mum was diagnosed with cancer during Sixth Form. If it hadn’t been for the support from everyone at PGS it would have been much harder.  PGS has been like a warm blanket for me at a time that I really needed it. It’s been the first place that made start to feel like I belonged.”

Shapol Mohamed joined PGS for Sixth Form from Priory School in Southsea and today is celebrating achieving 2 A* grades and 3 A grades, he has been offered a place to study Engineering at Imperial College London. “I have had an incredibly enjoyable time at PGS,” said Shapol. “Today I was delighted with my A-level results and securing my place at Imperial. I am still debating if I should start at Imperial this academic year or start next year and take up a role that I have been offered by an exciting start-up.”

We also bid farewell to the Materna family this week as Sammie received her A Level results, achieving an impressive A*AA which will take her to Reading to study Art with Psychology. Sammie is the last of five sisters to come through PGS. 

“This was the first Sixth Form year group to take part in our Ignite! Academic enrichment programme, which offers a range of short courses catering to the breadth of interests and talents of our pupils,” continued Dr Cotton. “The programme has allowed them to reflect on their engagement with the world beyond school and to pursue interests beyond their principal subjects. From September, we are building on this in our new Sixth Form enrichment curriculum which has been designed with the future of our pupils in mind, to equip our pupils to lead purposeful, enriching lives and thrive in the years beyond school. This approach, along with the care of our Sixth Form staff, helps open doors to enormously exciting opportunities for them.”