Grenfell survivor scores A grade in exam sat hours after fleeing blaze
Ines Alves also gained the highest possible grade, a 9, in her maths GCSE.
A teenager who escaped from the Grenfell Tower blaze hours before her chemistry GCSE achieved a “fantastic” A grade.
Ines Alves, who lived with her family on the 13th floor, fled the burning block in the middle of the night with just her phone and chemistry notes before sitting the 9am exam in the same clothes she left in.
The 16-year-old also gained the highest grade, a 9, in her maths GCSE – equivalent to an A* under the old system – along with an A in double science and an A* in Spanish.
Speaking after opening her results at Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, west London, she said: “It’s good. I’m quite happy with my grades. I wish I did more, but then again, I don’t know, it hasn’t sunk in yet. For the exams I missed, I didn’t do too well in them overall.”
Ines missed two history exams, one RE paper and one physics exam in the days after the fire, which affected her overall grades. She said she initially thought the fire was “nothing major” and just wanted to sit the exam.
“That’s all I had on my mind,” she said. “There was no point me carrying on watching the building burning so I just went in.”
Asked if she felt she had done an extraordinary thing, she told ITV’s This Morning: “At the time I just thought it was a normal thing, just going to sit an exam. It just goes to show that if you really want something you can always get it, no matter what’s happening around you, and it also allows me to do chemistry for A-level.”
Ines said she had managed to block out the horror of the fire during the exam, but afterwards she “broke down in tears”.
She plans to study A-levels in chemistry, maths, economics and sociology, and has been offered counselling at her school and prospective sixth-forms.
The scale of the Grenfell disaster was “slowly” starting to sink in, she said, adding that support from her school and friends had been “really good”.
Asked what she remembered from the night of the fire, she said: “The whole thing. The screaming, people screaming, begging for help.”
The family, who owned their flat, are currently living in a hotel, more than two months on.
They have received offers of temporary accommodation but want to wait for somewhere they can turn into their permanent home.
Ines said staying in a hotel was “not ideal but it’s not terrible”.
She was accompanied by her brother, Tiago, 20, who said: “I am really proud of her – I have no words for it. It seems very surreal even though I knew she was going to get it.”
Her headteacher, Marian Doyle, said her results were “fantastic”.