Dagenham school pupils are top of the class

EIGHT young Einsteins and the borough s very own Billy Elliot have made their parents and teachers proud after winning prestigious school places. The William Ford School pupils had to work hard, taking extra tuition and exams – but it all seems to have pa

EIGHT young Einsteins and the borough's very own Billy Elliot have made their parents and teachers proud after winning prestigious school places.

The William Ford School pupils had to work hard, taking extra tuition and exams - but it all seems to have paid off.

Sam Lee, 10, was accepted to the Royal National Ballet School after beating off thousands of entrants to take one of just 12 places.

The borough's answer to Billy Elliot cannot wait to start boarding at White Lodge in September where he will have normal classes and four hours of ballet every day.


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"I'm really excited," he said. "We get to travel all over the world and dance in different countries.

"And I will be staying away from home. I'll miss my parents - but not my brother and sister," Sam joked.

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Sam started dancing through a project recommended to William Ford School in Ford Road, Dagenham, by Dagenham Park School, where the project is now based.

As well as dancing in the Royal Ballet's production of Cinderella at the Royal Opera House in April, Sam will also dance with the Bolshoi Ballet in June.

And the good news for teachers at William Ford did not end there as eight other pupils were accepted to some of Essex's most prestigious private schools, with two of them winning full scholarships worth nearly �100,000.

Irene Irpogho and Danielle Wilson won places at Brentwood School after acing their 11 plus exams and were then awarded their scholarships.

Four girls and one boy will be travelling all the way to Southend on the train come September after they were accepted to Westcliff Grammar School and Southend Grammar.

Opeyemi Alamu, Sean De Silva, Daniella Ogundijo-Akinfenwa, Kemi Adeeko and Eleyse Peacock, say they are all up to the challenge of making new friends and learning new subjects.

Eleyse is looking forward to attending the specialist language school in September.

"Whatever language you learn you get to go to that country," she said. "I want to learn Chinese so I can go to China!"

Daniella, who will go to a specialist Science and Engineering School, says she can't wait to tackle chemistry and build a car in engineering as past Westcliff pupils did.

And last but not least, Emmanuella Owusu-Brobbey, will be furthest from home as she travels to County High School for Girls in Chelmsford.

She had to come within the top 112 applicants to gain a place at this fantastic school.

Headteacher, Mandy Short, is proud of all her pupils and said: "The commitment that these young people have shown is remarkable.

"They all thoroughly deserve their places and will no doubt continue to do us proud and gain places at university.

"When we see a child with the kind of potential that these youngsters have, we make sure their parents know what is open to them and support them all the way through their extra tuition and exams.

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