It was a special day at King James's School in Knaresborough, as staff and sixth form pupils celebrated 'one of the best days of the year', with the hard work of students again ranking among the best in the country.
Results envelopes were eagerly torn open at the school today (Thursday, August 16), with top grades of A * to B in 43 per cent all examinations, assessed against many of the new A level examinations.
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While celebrating 10 years of strong results at the school it is also an especially important day for staff, including Headteacher Carl Sugden, seeing students who have overcome barriers and remembering how far they have come from their first day at the school.
Mr Sugden said: "I think as a headteacher, and as teacher at A-level, it is always one of the best days of the year because you can see all their hard work come to fruition. With these young people we have known them since they were in Year 7, when they were 11 years old, and over this seven year journey they have been on.
"If you have been here a while, as I have, you see and remember them from the first day they step through that door wearing their uniforms after coming from primary school.
"To see them (now) as young adults and leaving with their results, many of them going to some high powered university courses, is always very special."
He added: "I think you go back to earlier points in the year when perhaps they found things really hard, the essays that have been handed, the coursework they have been doing, maybe they had struggled with certain concepts and things were tough.
"I can think of occasions in maths, history, chemistry, where students have hit barriers. To see them come through and hit that grade B or A they have been aspiring towards on their results envelopes today is really gratifying."
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Applauding the 'resilience and adaptability' of students over the year he highlighted the efforts of students who continued on throughout the year while applying for some of the most sought after university places in the country.
He added: "We focus on all students, no matter where they are applying or what they want do. But it is particularly tough for those applying for Cambridge, Oxford and top university places, because they often have to go through an interview or selection process other than the normal UCAS one and that can be quite a journey for them.
"Even when students get great results the pressure for some of these top university places is intense . But they are so resilient and that has impressed me, when they walk through the door today obviously some have their first choice place, maybe some haven't. Maybe because they were requiring three A* or whatever it was,but they demonstrate tremendous resilience and adaptability as they look forward to the next stage of their careers. It really is great to be able to support them on that journey.
"There has been a lot in the press about universities making offers which are below what the original offer was and people were waved through the door, and I am not sure that is the case from what we have seen, we have seen students having to work very hard for their places this year, as they have done in the past."
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In the same week that the school is believed to have again been ranked among the top 20 per cent for A-level results in the country confirmation has also been received that plans are to proceed for it's new Sixth Form building.
Mr Sugden said: "We have had 10 years of really solid results today, and again puts us in the 20 per cent of the country, and we have got a decade of those kind of results behind us.
"We have done this with great teaching, in terms of facilities of the schools they have not been fantastic for the sixth form because they are in a very old building. The good news is the tender has been accepted for our new building, which is to go up during the course of the next academic year.
"So hopefully this time next year we won't just have an outstanding sixth form in terms of results but we will have decent accommodation, good study facilities, new cafe and teaching facilities for this outstanding sixth form."