Quads' joy at exam success

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The Independent Online

Four extraordinary siblings, made all the more extraordinary by the fact that they are quadruplets, were today celebrating top grade A-level results.

The four members of the Oke family are just a couple of minutes apart by birth and all achieved A and B grades at the St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College in Clapham, south-west London.

The siblings - 18-year-old sisters Tayo and Tolu and brothers Tobi and Tosin - were told they will go to their first-choice universities after achieving a clean-sweep of top grades. They were receiving the breakdown of their results today.

Tayo, marginally the oldest of the four, will go to Manchester University to study business, Her slightly younger brother Tobi will study English at Goldsmiths, Tosin will study business at Queen Mary University while Tolu, the younger sister of the group will study history at Cambridge University.

When asked how the siblings had all done so well, Tayo explained that their mother, Julie, always encouraged them to try hard at school.

"Our mum really encouraged us from as early as year six and prepared us from a young age to take control of our own learning," she said.

Tobi also explained: "We've realised that aiming for the highest is really going to help us. At first we were probably pushed on but now we see it as the best way to help ourselves."

As some of the Oke's classes overlap they sometimes shared the same lessons and would help each other with assignments and revision.

However, they also said that there was an element of sibling rivalry in their attitudes to study.

Tobi said before the results: "When the results come there will be some sibling rivalry, I'm not going to lie."

Tolu added: "We all know we've tried our best. Especially going through the exam process together we've all been helping each other.

"It's more like holding each other's hand and being there."

They also all said that it would be strange to leave the comfort zone of being in education together as they embark on university careers.

Tosin said: "We've always shared the same friends, especially me and my brother, so when he's not there I'll miss him in a way."

Tolu added: "Our mum, being a single mum, has always taught us to be independent and lay our own foundations so even though going to uni is a massive step and a strange city, it's welcome, it's a welcome experience."

They also said that they will not miss being referred to as "quad one or quad two" by people who cannot remember their names and being asked if they have ESP with their brothers and sisters.

"We've had all sorts", Tayo said, "like if your sister's in pain can you feel it and if we're telepathic."

Tolu, Tayo, Tobi and Tosin said that they were going to celebrate their results by "sitting down and having a chat about our results and the different futures it means for all of us", as well as going to some of the parties and events arranged by college friends.