A-level Results Day 2021: The Leys
Sixth form pupils at The Leys are celebrating another excellent set of A-level results this year.
The students have been praised for their “character, maturity and resolve” against an “incredibly challenging backdrop” to their A-level studies.
Headmaster Martin Priestley said: “After their totally unprecedented experience of the last eighteen months, I am especially delighted today to congratulate all of the ‘Class of 2021’ on their excellent and richly deserved results.
“Normally, we look to benchmark our academic results with those of previous years. This, however, is a unique year, and today is therefore a ‘results day’ unlike any other. I am sure that many school leaders will feel, as I do, that there is therefore little insight to be gained by seeking to compare this year’s Teacher Assessed Grades with those secured by previous cohorts.
“The departing upper sixth deserve every congratulation for their grades this year, but rather than produce statistics to make historical comparisons which would inevitably be of very limited value, I would rather take this opportunity to congratulate the Class of 2021 for the resilience they, alongside sixth formers across the country, have displayed in navigating a uniquely challenging sixth form experience. They have weathered successive lockdowns, coped exceptionally well with the difficulties of online learning, and managed not to be discouraged despite the constant, nagging uncertainty about exactly how these important grades would ultimately be generated.
“I could not be prouder of the character, maturity and resolve they have shown throughout their A-level studies – remember, their lower sixth year was significantly disrupted, too – and I am therefore especially delighted this year that they can now move onto the next stage of their lives as confident and successful young adults. Those character traits will no doubt stand them in good stead as they move onwards into higher education.
“The vast majority of pupils gained places at their first choice of university and I was especially pleased that this year, nine Leysians and recent Old Leysians achieved the grades they needed to take up their offers from Oxford and Cambridge. I wish them every success in their exciting next chapters – and, based on what they have shown us these last two years, I know that they are well equipped to succeed.
“It would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to pay a warm and heartfelt tribute to all my colleagues, both teaching and support staff, whose incredible hard work and dedication has helped to facilitate the results our pupils are celebrating today. Like teachers up and down the country, my colleagues at The Leys were faced with an unprecedented challenge when we had to move, almost overnight, to remote teaching and learning. They stepped up to this challenge with extraordinary dedication and success, and I know how grateful these A Level students are for the support they received from their teachers over the duration of their courses.
“As a boarding school, we also had the challenge of keeping pupils safe during a global pandemic, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and of ensuring that international pupils could travel to and from us safely despite the exceptional complexity of international travel. These were entirely uncharted waters, and as a result the very distinction between term time and holiday time all but vanished over the last 18 months.
“Many Leysians found themselves unable to travel home and thus they remained here with us in Cambridge almost unbroken for the entire year. Being away from their families for so long also required extraordinary maturity and resilience, but they were incredibly positive and good company, indeed a joy to look after. Equally, I am proud that we took such great care of them throughout term-times and through the holidays.
“So today, perhaps more than in any previous year, on this unique day which sees the culmination of their academic school carers, I celebrate, congratulate and stand with each individual member of the Class of 2021. We are very proud of them, and wish them every success in the future.”