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Portsmouth girl wins top scholarship

29th Sep 2017
Portsmouth girl wins top scholarship

Ishal Mahmud, 11, has secured a scholarship to join St Swithun’s School in Winchester (Photo: Momtaj Begum)

Nadine Osman

An 11-year-old girl from Portsmouth has secured a full scholarship to study in one of the country’s top girls’ boarding having attained full marks in her SATs exams.

Ishal Mahmud who is a member of Mensa, the high IQ Society, after scoring in the top one percent of the population in their approved tests, spoke to The Muslim News of her joy in securing a full scholarship to join St Swithun’s School in Winchester.

Dedicated Ishal Mahmud dubbed the ‘British Malala’ has achieved 100 per cent attendance every year since starting Fernhurst Junior School.

It’s not only academic excellence that sets Ishal apart from her peers, Ishal has raised money for Children in Need, Comic Relief and Sports Relief. Her fundraising efforts were rewarded with a head teacher’s achievement award. She is now setting up a charity to help other disadvantaged children to secure places in the country’s top schools.

Ishal’s mother Momtaj Begum of St Augustine Road, Southsea, spoke of the family’s pride and difficulty in securing Ishal a top education. “I am a disabled mother of two and my husband is a taxi driver, we have tried to do whatever we can to support our child in her aspirations and we are so proud of all her achievements. It has not been an easy journey for Ishal but no barrier has been able to halt my daughter.”

“As a disabled person it was never going to be sustainable to continue supporting my child in taking part in as much as she has till today,” she added.

One of the many perks Ishal will enjoy in the £10,000 a term school is world class music lessons. Ishal is a grade 5 pianist, grade 4 organist and grade 3 guitarist, all of which St Swithun’s will be paying for her to continue.

Ishal is also a keen equestrian being a member of the British Pony Club as well as a member of the North Sea Swimming Club, a Young Portsmouth Ambassador and a St John’s Ambulance Cadet.

Ishal who says she hopes to become a lawyer said, “I cannot wait to get stuck in and expand my academic wings whilst developing my passion for playing the organ, piano, singing, horse riding and trying out many other new activities like archery and baking. ”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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