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Friends from birth achieve top grades

ByDave Stopher

Aug 23, 2019

Three students, who have known each other since birth, have achieved straight 9 grades in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. Uchenna Anyadiegwu, James Longstaff and Sam Potter have grown up together since they were at the same baby group, sharing five years at Richmond School and, in their free time, they work together at Millgate House in Richmond.

The firm friends are also looking to follow the same path in their A-levels, choosing to continue STEM subjects of Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Physics. All three students delivered exceptional results with phenomenal success from James who swept the board with ten straight 9s. A full suite of 9s is rare. James is one of only 837 or 0.2% of students nationally to have achieved this incredible outcome.  James said: “I am absolutely ecstatic to achieve all 9s. It was down to a combination of loads of hard work and the support of staff at the school.

Scott Lunn, Head of Maths, commented: “Uchenna, James and Sam have worked incredibly hard and have achieved tremendous results. We are looking forward to welcoming them back to the Sixth Form College in September to pursue their studies.”

A strong performance in Engineering also highlights the importance of STEM subjects at Richmond School which are increasingly sought after by employers and highly regarded in industry.  The results were impressive, with all students achieving Merit or above and 42% of the 32 students gaining Distinction or Distinction*.

Less than two years ago, when Cristina Vaidos joined Richmond School, she couldn’t speak any English. Through her immense commitment to learning English to overcome the language barrier, and her sheer hard work, Cristina has passed 11 subjects and remarkably achieved grades 6 in both English Language and English Literature.

Rebecca Weston, Head of English, said: “To join school without speaking English would be a hugely daunting experience for anyone, but Cristina has applied herself with such determination and resilience. Her results are incredible.”

Katie Wood overcame a knee injury, resulting in time off school, to achieve an impressive set of GCSE results.  In spite of being on crutches for several weeks, followed by a period of recuperation, Katie attained a grade 9 in PE as well as Art, plus high-scoring grades in her other eight subjects.  Katie is also a champion cheerleader and, alongside her GCSE studies, was working hard for the world championships, typically training five times each week in gymnastics and cheerleading.

Lesley Abbey, Head of PE, said: “Katie is a fabulous sportswoman and is academically very strong. She showed great strength of character to overcome her injury and achieve outstanding results in all her subjects. This is an amazing effort and is testament to Katie’s dedication and hard work.”

Katie added: “I am over the moon with my results and am looking forward to doing A-levels at Richmond Sixth Form in Art, Geography and Maths. I would really like to single out Miss Gregory and Miss Harrower, my Art and PE teachers, for all their help.”


Lola Cross has continued to demonstrate her linguistic flair by scoring a top Grade 9 in German, having already passed GCSE in French with a 9, as well as an A in GCSE Russian, in 2018.  She is a natural linguist and has an astounding ability to learn multiple languages to an incredibly high standard.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “I am delighted that our students have achieved some really superb results again this year and are now, quite rightly, looking forward to embarking on the next phase of their education.  I wish them the very best of luck as they continue on their journey.”