STUDENTS in Yate and Chipping Sodbury are celebrating record results in their A-levels this morning.
Brimsham Green School in Yate has bettered its performance last year with a 98 per cent pass rate overall and a 100 per cent pass rate in 29 of the 32 subjects taken. At least 80 per cent of students secured a place at their first or second choice university.
Head teacher Kim Garland said: “I am really delighted that the hard work of students and staff has resulted in so many students making excellent progress and gaining the qualifications they deserve.
“Our parents have been really supportive and students have worked really hard. I think when you get that combination it really pays off.”
Ben Fudge was the highest-performing student at the school with four A*s, which have secured him a place at Oxford to study engineering.
Coben Skuse, 18, achieved 2 A*s in biology and maths and an A in chemistry, winning him his first choice place at Leeds University where he will study medicine with a view to becoming a doctor.
“I am in shock and disbelief that I have done so well,” said Coben. “I worked really hard so I’m really happy it has paid off in the end.”
With two As in economics and sport and two Bs in biology and English language, Abbie Fox, 18, has won one of only five places to study respiratory physiology at the University of the West of England (UWE).
“My main aim was to get on a course which I could immediately get a job from at the end,” she said. “I am really relieved.
“I was shaking when I went online this morning to see if I got my place at university.”
Her boyfriend Michael Beecham, also 18, already had an apprenticeship confirmed with engineering firm Laing O’Rourke and his A* in biology, A in DT product design, C in chemistry and distinction star in sport means the company will pay for him to study civil engineering at UWE.
“I have been thinking about today all the time,” he said. “You doubt yourself but it has all turned out okay in the end.”
Yate International Academy has welcomed a huge improvement on last year’s results when no student gained an A* or A at A-level. This year, however, 22 per cent of sixth form students received top grades and 18-year-old Ellie Wood has become the academy’s first ever student to win a place at Cambridge University.
Ellie gained an A* in geography and two As in French and maths to secure her place on the distinguished university’s French and Spanish course.
“Just getting an offer was surprising,” she told the Gazette. “I felt really sick this morning but I got the grades I needed.
“I have no idea what I want to do yet other than spend some time living abroad in the future.”
Her dad Steve, visibly moved by his daughter’s results, said: “I am absolutely gobsmacked.
“Ellie deserves it for the work she put in. She has always been talented and never gave up.
“We are not an academic family and she came here when the school was on its knees but the help and support she has had here has been fantastic.
“It has been a very emotional morning.”
The academy, which caused a furore among parents last year when some academic A-levels were taken off the curriculum in favour of more vocational courses, recorded a 100 per cent pass rate from grade A* to E with 55 per cent of students achieving A* to B grades, a 40 per cent improvement on 2013.
Principal Roger Gilbert said: “It is a huge improvement on last year and I put that down to good teaching, hard working students and supportive parents.
“We knew that the potential was there with this cohort of students and this year has been about ensuring that potential was realised. The proof is in the results.”
Chipping Sodbury School has also seen a record-breaking year for the second consecutive year.
The school saw 33 per cent of students achieve grades A* to B and 19 per cent A* or A.
Several students gained straight As with Robert Quested achieving two A*s and an A meaning he will study history at Kings College, London, Tresta Mansfield receiving two A*s, an A and a B to read natural sciences at University College, London, Angus Braithwaite with two A*s and an A who will go on to study material sciences at Oxford, Declan Hillier who with two A*s and an A will read politics and international relations at the University of Warwick, Jason Blue who received two A*s and a n A to read chemical engineering at Manchester University, Lucy Kay who with an A* and two As with study chemistry at Bristol University and David Cann who achieved three As and a B and will study film at UWE.
Head teacher Gareth Millington said, “We wish all our wonderful sixth formers well in their future endeavours. Well done to them all.”
Winterbourne International Academy has celebrated some of the best ever A and AS-level results in its history.
At A-level, 51 per cent of all grades were at A* to B, a rise on the 2013 figure, with over three quarters of the grades at C or above.
Over 70 per cent of students achieved A* to B in subjects including applied business, economics, mathematics, further mathematics, philosophy and technology.
Top performers included Kapil Argawal with four As, Anya Appou with three A*s, an A and a B, Philip Sequeiros-Peggs who received three A*s and an A, Yan Zhang with one A*, two As and a B, Louise Chandler who achieved one A* and two As and Zoe Johnson, Kim Grosvenor and Anastasia Oates who were all awarded three As.
Sixteen-year-old Xinyu Shen gained an A* in A-level mathematics two years ahead of schedule.
Students have won places on courses including medicine at Imperial College, London, music at Southampton, biomedical sciences at Queens Belfast, mathematics at Bristol, economics at Kent and forensic computing at Portsmouth.
Principal Rob Evans said: "We are enormously proud of this year's post-16 results - a testament of our student's dedication and hard work together with the first class support of their teachers.
“These results will again enable our students to access high quality courses at some of the UK's most prestigious universities."
At AS-level, the academy saw more than 44 per cent of students achieve A or B grades.
The results follow successful International Baccalaureate marks in July.
Nationally the pass rate has fallen very slightly (0.1 per cent) for the first time in 30 years but there are still a record number of university places available.