Happiness and relief were among the raft of emotions ACG Strathallan’s Jessie Dai felt when she received her 2020 Cambridge curriculum examination results.
The conscientious 16-year-old achieved A* grades (90% or better) in all five of her IGCSE exams (biology, chemistry, English, art and design and English literature), plus a further A grade for AS-Level mathematics.
“At first I think there was definitely a sense of disbelief and shock, then the ‘too good to be true’ feeling settled in. It was a really amazing moment which I hope to achieve again this year,” says Jessie.
While her English scores “exceeded expectations”, the top scholar confirms the result she’s most proud of was IGCSE art and design.
“That’s because I spent most of my time by far on my art pieces and boards. There was a lot of work involved but, in the end, everything turned out well and to my satisfaction. I’m really glad the results reflected my time and effort.”
Although Jessie’s talent for art is undeniable, her favourite subject is maths, thanks in part to an especially inspiring teacher, Ms Krista Rabulall.
“Even though AS-Level maths [typically taken as a Year 12 subject] was much more challenging for me than IGCSE, my teacher really helped me to understand the material and made the subject more enjoyable and interesting.”
As Jessie immerses herself in another year of study, she is as determined as ever to reach for the stars.
“This year I’m taking AS-Level biology, chemistry and literature, A-Level statistics and IGCSE physics. It will be quite a challenging year, so I’ll be focusing on maintaining a strong work ethic, accomplishing all my class work and achieving good results in all my assessments and exams.”
And she has the entire school – both teachers and students – behind her.
“I am extremely grateful to my teachers who have been so amazing and supportive and have helped me learn to the best of my abilities. I really can’t thank them enough. I’m also so thankful for my classmates and ACG Strathallan friends because we motivate and encourage each other to always keep working hard.”
But striving for academic excellence is not all that the Year 12 student values. She’s a competitive swimmer, plays hockey for the school, and makes the most of all the opportunities that come her way.
“What I enjoy most about being at ACG Strathallan is the number of great opportunities they offer us and all the amazing and skilled teachers that help us succeed. They definitely take your education seriously, which is something that’s really important to me.
“My goal for this year is to get as involved as I can in school activities and teams. I’m looking forward to having senior roles around the school, contributing to more events and helping the younger students. And I’m really excited for the school ball and production! I want to make my final two years at ACG Strathallan the best they can be.”