Derby school pupil who fled war-torn Syria on foot achieves A* in A-Levels and plans to become a pilot

DELIGHTED students and staff are celebrating an exceptional year of Post 16 results at a Derby school.

Pupils from the Bemrose School Sixth Form, in Uttoxeter New Road, have seen improved grades in 2019 with strong performance across all subjects which they currently offer. Almost every pupil who took their qualifications at Bemrose achieved the results needed for university.

Marcus Wesley, Head of Post-16 at the Derby school, said: “We have celebrated improved results for a second successive year.

Bemrose School pupils Adil Hanif, Reece Bellingham, Milorad Adam and Zainab Azam. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

“Our sixth form students have done really well; there was a large number of distinctions across Applied General subjects and a 100% pass rate for these courses. In A levels the average grade was a C.”

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Mohammad Khalil has secured a place at Lincoln University after getting an A* and a Merit. The 19-year-old arrived in Derby in 2015 as a refugee from war-torn Syria. He will be studying mathematics and Physics at Lincoln in September.

He has thanked staff at The Bemrose School for their support – and can’t wait to share news of his results with his family.

“I am so happy right now,” he said, “I wasn’t expecting these results. I can’t wait to speak to my family to let them know how I’ve done; I speak to them once a week now that the situation in Syria has improved a little.

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“I have received lots of support from staff and Bemrose – in particular Mr Wesley (head of Sixth Form) and Mr Wood (head of science) – and I’ll be sad to say goodbye to them.”


Mohammed was just 14-years-old when he left his home in Syria, leaving behind family and friends and joining a group of strangers who were attempting to reach the safety of the UK mainly on foot.


“I didn’t know anyone in the group,” he said, “I walked thousands of miles before arriving in London, where I had the choice of living with a foster family in London or with my uncle in Derby.

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“I chose to live here. I love the city of Derby – it’s a great place to live.”

The teenager has aspirations of becoming a pilot when he leaves University.


“I know that there is a lot of studying and I must work hard but that would be my dream,” he said.


Other top performing students include Saaira Khan (18), who is off to Nottingham University to study Child Nursing after achieving a distinction and two merits in her studies while one of last year’s school captains, Adil Hanif, has achieved two distinctions and a merit in Applied Science, IT and Business studies. Adil and will be studying Quantity Surveying and Commercial management at Nottingham Trent University.

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Eighteen-year-old Zainab Azam achieved merits in applied science and health and social care and a B grade in A-level sociology. Zainab will start Sheffield University later this year to study adult nursing and is keen to work on a cardiac ward.


She said: “My mum has successfully had heart operations and so I would like to work in a coronary care unit in the future. I really wasn’t expecting to achieve a B in my A-level and so I’m delighted with my results.


“The course I’m doing is very hands-on; it’s 50% placement and 50% studying and I can’t wait to get started.”

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The Bemrose School offers a variety of Post-16 subjects for those wanting to further their education after completing their GCSEs. They include A-levels in Sociology, Mathematics and English Language as well as BTEC programmes in Applied Science, IT, Business Studies and Child Development.


Executive headteacher Neil Wilkinson said: “Our students have worked extremely hard this year and have achieved exceptional grades. This is down to the sheer determination and commitment of everyone involved throughout the students’ education.


“We are thrilled with their success and wish them the best of luck as they move onto the next stage of their education at University, apprenticeship and work.”










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