The school where headmaster Philip Lawrence was knifed to death two decades ago is sending its first pupil to Cambridge University.
Yaseen Alkhazali, 18, will study medicine after earning A* grades in maths, biology and chemistry at St George’s Catholic School in Maida Vale, North West London.
Yaseen, whose heating engineer dad and trainee teaching assistant mum fled Iraq in 1998 to make a new life in the UK, told the Mirror: “I am speechless. It hasn’t sunk in yet.
"This is the biggest thing that’s happened to me in my whole life.”
He was full of praise for St George’s, which hit headlines in 1995 when hero Mr Lawrence was stabbed while breaking up a fight outside the school gates to protect a pupil.
Yaseen said the school encourages maturity in its pupils, adding: “I couldn’t have done it without their support. My parents have also been very supportive and I can’t wait to get started at Cambridge.”
He also thanked the Access project charity, which encourages youngsters to get into Britain’s top universities. He said: “Without them, I would not be in such a privileged position.”
Martin Tissot of Cardinal Hume Academies Trust, which runs St George’s, said: “We’re delighted, he’s done extremely well.”
The proportion of A-level students getting top grades fell to its lowest level for a decade as 300,000 pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland got their results yesterday.
In total, 25.5% of UK entries were awarded an A or A* grade, the lowest since 2007 when it was 25.3%.
For the first time more girls than boys took science A-levels, at just over 50% according to the Joint Council for Qualifications.
Spanish now beats French as the most popular language A-level, with 8,625 entries compared with 8,355 for French.
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