GCSE Success Stories

James and Lucy A may be twins but they’ll be celebrating in different ways…

Lucy and James A

Twins Lucy and James have pretty much everything covered between them. Lucy is a top cricketer, and James an excellent actor who plans to audition for Les Misérables when term starts.

What they do have in common is academic achievement: Lucy’s grades included a 9 in Maths, A* in Further Maths, and a 9 in Religious Studies, and she is hoping to study Maths, Philosophy and Law at A Level. James plans to do Theatre Studies, Theology & Philosophy and Politics A Levels, and has 9s in Religious Studies and Drama GCSEs.
Lucy represents Surrey at cricket, and within this, has been selected for the EPP (Elite Player Pathway). At school, she was a key player in the Girls U15, and has been a leading role model as the girls’ cricket programme has developed.

James – like several other students – was off to Reading Festival to soak up the sunshine and celebrate over the Bank Holiday weekend, while Lucy’s plans are rather more relaxing and closer to home.

James says:

“Although it is academic, RGS is a really interesting and creative community. At the end of Third Form, I met with my head of year and other teachers to set up an LGBTQ+ community to help spread awareness of the group at the school and also promote a more inclusive society. The school was very receptive and supportive, and in the space of a year, we’ve spoken in front of teachers and students and made a lot of progress on raising awareness.”

Alex aims high within the CCF

Alex C

With four 9, five 8 and one 7 grades, Alex and his family have every reason to be smiling. Alex plans to take A Levels in Economics, Physics, Geography and DT: an impressively varied range of subjects.

Alex runs the Corps of Drums for the school, and co-runs the Navy section of the CCF. He cites his recent trip up to HM Naval Base Clyde – known as Faslane – in Scotland as a real highlight, as it gave him his first experience of handling a large ship.

Alex’s aim is to get to Warrant Officer in the CCF; the highest possible rank for a non-commissioned member of the Cadet Force. He sees this as a stepping stone into a career as a Warfare Officer in the Navy, serving on destroyers or frigates, working on navigation and gunnery.


“The distinguishing characteristic of the school is the fact that the staff are always there, not just during lesson time.”


Alex told us:

“I’m very happy with my grades, and I hope everyone else is. The teachers have been really supportive; my English teacher Mrs Leck is a perfect example. I wasn’t scoring very highly in English in the first year or so, but [looking at today’s results] that has all changed!

The distinguishing characteristic of the school is the fact that the staff are always there, not just during lesson time. In the run-up to GCSE exams there was so much support; there were workshops, clinics at lunchtime and after school to revise.”

1675 Scholar David’s grades are exceptional

David H

1675 Scholar David took ten GCSEs plus Further Maths, and scored the top grade in all of them.

In addition to his superb grades, David has contributed to the life of the school in many ways beyond the classroom: in particular through debating and Model United Nations (MUN). He has attended MUN conferences, been involved in developing the RGS MUN website and is Conference Chair for a forthcoming MUN event at RGS.

A beneficiary of the RGS Foundation’s Changing Lives bursary scheme, David’s story is one of outstanding success, and he will no doubt have been keen to share his superb news with his sponsor, who is himself a former pupil.

Head of Foundation Sean Davey commented: “David’s sponsor will be on hand to provide career advice and mentoring when the time comes. David and our other 1675 Scholars benefit in many ways beyond the bursary place provided, including invaluable support from the Reigatian Professional Network, which is available to all students when they leave the school.”

Charlie’s a great sport

Charlie J

After acing his GCSEs, keen sportsman Charlie is looking forward to taking Maths, Physics, Economics and Chemistry A Levels in the Sixth Form. He is also looking forward to the social side of life at the top of the school.

An all-round sportsman, Charlie hadn’t played hockey before he arrived at RGS but went on to represent the school at the sport. Since he’s been here, he’s taken all the sports opportunities on offer, reaching regional level as a swimmer and devoting a lot of time to his beloved rugby.

Charlie made his debut for the 1st XV as a Fifth Former, which is very impressive. In recognition of his attitude and attainments, he was awarded Sportsperson of the Year 2018-2019, as voted for by staff and pupils.

In Charlie’s words: “Rugby is a big part of my life, I really love the sport and commit a lot of time to it within school and outside school, where I play for the Old Reigatians. In the Sixth Form, I’m looking forward to the step up and being at the top of the school and I will certainly be continuing with sport alongside my A Levels.”

Tianyi gets a 9 in English Literature: clearly his English is no longer “diabolical”!

Tianyi P

Tianyi was one of 68 students who achieved 10 grades at 8 or above.

An exceptional feat, particularly when you consider that Tianyi arrived from China in the third term of the First Year speaking virtually no English. Tianyi’s grade at English Literature GCSE a few short years later? He was awarded the top possible: a 9.

He remembers his language skills back then as being “diabolical”, which is presumably the sort of adjective that he has learnt since. Tianyi had at least nine ESL (English as Second Language) lessons a week in the Second Form and is immensely grateful to his teacher, who he says helped him not only improve, but enjoy the classes.


“I went to other schools as well for interviews, but I knew that I wanted to come to Reigate Grammar School.”


Tianyi told us:

“I arrived in third term in First Form from China with barely any English and no knowledge of England. I was a tiny bit scared you could say! The school has given me a lot of support language-wise and on how to fit into the community.

I’m very pleased with my results today. I want to say thanks to the school for helping me to achieve such a great result. I went to other schools as well for interviews, but I knew that I wanted to come to Reigate Grammar School.”

Machayla fits triathlon training around ten terrific grades

Machayla D (left)

With ten top grades under her belt, athlete Machayla is now looking forward to studying Maths, Physics and Geography at A Level, having got A* in all of these subjects at GCSE.

Machayla competes at a national level in biathlons and triathlons, and was ranked six in GB last season, an outstanding achievement.

Athough competition season coincided with exam time this year, she has managed to keep up the training, which she found helped her to relax during her revision studies.
Not content with being a biathlete and a triathlete, Machayla wants to try something new in the Sixth Form, and is considering taking up rock climbing alongside her A Levels. She will also continue to play netball for the school.


“RGS is a school that has taught me a lot, not only academically. I came here very shy and I’ve become a lot more confident.”


Speaking just after she’d collected her results, Machayla said:

“I’m feeling really good, I’m proud of myself and my results. I’ve been waiting five years to use the Harrison Centre – I’m so chuffed. RGS is a school that has taught me a lot, not only academically. I came here very shy and I’ve become a lot more confident. You get the good grades but you also learn how to work with people, and learn skills that are going to take you into the rest of the world.”

Celebrations for the second week in a row for the Beglan family

Grace and Leah B

Big brother George took home a superb set of A Level grades last week and has secured his place to read Law at Oxford University, so it’s been a tense time in the household as twin sisters Leah and Grace waited for their GCSE results today.

Nobody need have worried however, as both girls have excelled and the entire family must be over the moon.

For the avoidance of competition, Grace and Leah aren’t planning to tell each other the details of their exact grades, so we can’t divulge them. Suffice to say, they’re spectacular!

Leah is a talented dancer, singer and musician in school and beyond, and, along with Grace, plays squash for Surrey and is a member of a range of RGS teams: racket sports, hockey and netball.

Grace commented: “It’s busy being a Reigatian, definitely in a good way. I’m looking forward to A Levels because I will learn more about the subjects I’m really curious about. A bit nerdy but I’m excited about the study! I’m doing Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English – I like a lot of subjects so it was hard to narrow it down.”

Happy Harry gets nothing but 9s

Harry A

When we caught Harry outside the Harrison Centre fresh from opening his GCSE results, he was so modest that it took some time to ascertain that he’d scored a perfect set of 9s across the board, as well as the top grade possible in Further Maths.

Harry will go on to take four A Levels in Sixth Form, in French, History, Maths and Economics.

Among his other subjects, Harry took joint Latin and Greek which has the same amount of time allocated to it per week as a single subject does, yet counts as two GCSEs. Added to which, Harry and fellow students started Greek from scratch.


“(RGS is) a school where everyone feels welcome, that puts the individual first.”


Harry said: “My marks make me feel so happy. All the hard work paid off, and it’s been nice to relax over the summer. I’m looking forward to more independence and more choice at A Level – more time to explore my subjects.

I’ve been involved a lot with MUN (Model United Nations) since I joined the school. Debating has definitely given me more confidence in myself and I’ve met new friends internationally. Aside from my grades, that’s another thing that the school has helped me with.

My teachers have supported me so much, and I’m so happy to be able to show my gratitude through these grades. It’s a school where everyone feels welcome, that puts the individual first.”



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