The  head girl and head boy at Meridian High School have reflected on their time at the New Addington institution as they get ready to move on.

A batch of good GCSE results on August 22 came as a boost for the school which was rated ‘Requires Improvement’ by Ofsted back in April 2019.

In May  2019 headteacher Martin Giles said the school is now working to improve the rating to ‘Good’

Inspectors found that in 2018, Year 11 pupils did not achieve well when they left school.

Despite ‘shaking with nerves’ as she arrived at school, head girl Ava Smart has bagged a top grade 9 in English literature and an 8 in drama.

The teenager said she is proud of her results and will now head to Langley Park School to study English language, sociology and history with an aspiration to become a teacher.

She said: “I have enjoyed my journey here at Meridian. It took a while for me to come out of my shell and I had to really work hard at GCSE.

“It’s amazing to think how far I’ve come and how much my confidence has grown.”

And head boy Jack Cress said he has also grown in confidence at the school. He will now head to Coulsdon Sixth Form College to study business, Spanish and politics.

He received four Grade 9s, three 8s and two 7s.

He said: “I was very nervous this morning because I was adamant something had gone wrong but it didn’t and the feeling right now is of pure relief. I’m feeling immense pride right now – it’s so satisfying that I have achieved what I have.

“I am really going to miss this place because I have loved my time here. It has helped me so much and built my confidence. When I walked in here as a Year 7 pupil, I did not expect to get these results so to be here with these results in my hand, it’s amazing.”

The school in Fairchildes Avenue improved in English, and head teacher Martin Giles said he was incredibly proud of all the achievements.

The school also celebrated its best ever results in Spanish, drama and hospitality and catering.

Another pupil, Kieran Desouza, was relived to see his results this morning after he was disappointed by his mocks results.

He got six grade 6s and two 5s and will join Jack at Coulsdon with plans to study media studies, photography and graphic design.

“I’m really surprised with my results,” he said.

“I had done badly in my mocks in English so I was really pleased two get two 6s. I was honestly expecting them to be worse so I’m chuffed that all my hard work has paid off.”

And Mr Giles took the school’s GCSE results as a sign that the school is improving.

He added: “These results show we have continued to make sustainable improvements on our development journey, increasing academic achievement in key subjects.

“We are excited, committed and ready to build on these achievements even further in the year ahead as we develop our learning community.”