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A-level results: 100pc top grades at Swanlea School for art, further maths and Italian

PUBLISHED: 15:36 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:26 15 August 2019

Michelle Mendieta Mean hugging her art tutor Gemma Williams. Picture: Zara Islam

Michelle Mendieta Mean hugging her art tutor Gemma Williams. Picture: Zara Islam

Zara Islam

Michelle Mendieta Mean gave her art teacher Gemma Williams a big hug after getting two A*s and an A in her A-level results.

Michelle Mendieta Mean and the A* grades that have got her to Oxford. Picture: Zara IslamMichelle Mendieta Mean and the A* grades that have got her to Oxford. Picture: Zara Islam

Michelle has secured a place at Oxford University to read fine art.

She is one of two Swanlea Secondary students going to Oxbridge. Classmate Arpan Dev is off to Cambridge where he reads natural sciences, after getting two A*s and an A.

Well over half the students at the Whitechapel school got top A-level grades, with 56 per cent achieving A* to B grades.

Swanlea sixthformer Arpan Dev shows mum his A* grades that have won him a place at Cambridge. Picture: Zara IslamSwanlea sixthformer Arpan Dev shows mum his A* grades that have won him a place at Cambridge. Picture: Zara Islam

Those taking art, further maths or Italian all had A* passes.

Half Year 11 have been accepted at Russell Group top universities including Queen Mary at Mile End, to study computer science, maths, engineering, law, biomedical sciences, psychology or history.

Headteacher Brenda Landers, now in the ninth year running Swanlea, has got her students to university with many coming from deprived backgrounds from families often on the poverty line.

Head teacher Brenda Landers... Head teacher Brenda Landers... "Parents are crystal clear they want a better life for their children." Picture: Mike Brooke

"Poverty in the East End of course has its disadvantages where life isn't easy for families," she says. "Issues such as bad housing doesn't help.

"But the parents are determined — they're crystal clear that they want a better life for their children and do what is necessary.

"We involve the parents, communicating and talking regularly, telling them when their children are doing well or when we have concerns about their progress. It's an ongoing dialogue."

Swanlea School in Whitechapel... where more than half the A-level students got A* to B grades. Picture: Mike BrookeSwanlea School in Whitechapel... where more than half the A-level students got A* to B grades. Picture: Mike Brooke

Other top grades were in maths, religious education, sociology, physics, politics, geography, economics and psychology.

But it's not just top A-level grades. Btec studies also did well in Extended diplomas, with 10 students getting three distinctions each. Five are now going on to Queen Mary University for computer science, a sixth for accountancy.

Three others are heading for the universities of Westminster, London and Bath. Crystal Sareena Meah and Tania Choudhury are both to study criminology, Crystal at Westminster and Tania at London universities.

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