Two Pupils Achieve Top (I)GCSE Results in the World

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is very happy to share the great news regarding two Year 10 pupils who each received a certificate and medal for scoring the “highest grade in the world” in their IGCSE exams. Caterina Gandolfi was awarded the certificate and a medal for her marks in IGCSE Italian and Almaha Alshamsi was awarded the certificate and a medal for her marks in IGCSE Arabic. Both pupils took the exams a year early at the end of Year 10 rather than the end of Year 11.

The GCSE, short for the General Certificate of Secondary Education, is an internationally recognized system that is sat by virtually all pupils at the end of Year 11 (aged 16) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The international version, the IGCSE, is sat in many international schools in over 140 countries worldwide and in some UK independent schools. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi offers mainly IGCSE, but some GCSE, courses that are designed to be taught over two years, in Years 10 and 11.

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi instills a curriculum that not only enables pupils to achieve exceptionally good examination results but also engages them in the excitement of learning, preparing them for the wider world. The school’s aim is to strike a balance between the academic disciplines and the wealth of extra-curricular activities on offer, sharing the same ethos as Cranleigh School in the UK. With a focus on the pupil as a whole, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi also has a scholarship programme designed to broaden access to the holistic and enriching educational model.

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi was named International School of the Year 2019 at the prestigious Tes Independent School Awards in London, in recognition of the ambitious arts and cross-curricular project, Water in the Desert: A Zayed Legacy, which was developed into a broad cross-curricular programme for 800 pupils in Year 2 and above exploring the opera’s themes of heritage, identity and sustainability.

Almaha Al Shamsi expressed her excitement stating, “I’m really proud of my achievement, especially since I’ve only lived in an Arabic speaking country for two years”. She thanked her parents and teachers for their support and is “thrilled to be represented in the UAE this way”.  Caterina Gandolfi thanked Rory Gallagher, Modern Foreign Languages Teacher, for his support and stated, “I am extremely pleased with this result. I didn’t expect it at all.”

Michael Wilson, Principal at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, noted “We are obviously hugely proud of what both Caterina and Almaha have achieved. However, there will be pupils who will make the same journey without the same accolade. Their journeys are equally important.”


The 2018-2019 (I)GCSE Guide will be available soon.