A rising number of students have taken the top A-level grades in Yorkshire, analysis has revealed, as the pass rate for the region dips overall.
Nearly one in four students in the region have been awarded A* or A grades, at 24.4 per cent. And among a record set of results for some areas, there have been some exceptional stories of achievement and success.
In York, a student with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has won a place at university after being allowed to sit her A-levels at home.
Katie Livings, 18, achieved an A* in Extended Project Qualification writing about the illness she has suffered for the last five years, As in History and French and a B in English. Those grades will allow the 18-year-old from Clifton to enrol at the University of Kent to study Law and French Law.
“I was not expecting those grades so I am really happy,” she said. “I missed a lot of school but they were so good and really supportive.”
Hipperholme Grammar School pupil, Olivia Pearson, who represented Yorkshire Girls in golf, is a step closer towards her professional dream following some impressive results. Having achieved A*s in geography and sports studies as well as an A in biology to get the results needed to study Golf Management at Birmingham University from September.
At Harrogate Grammar School, 60 per cent of all A Level grades were at A*-B. Among the top performing were Jacob Dale, securing four A*, who will go on to study at Cambridge University.
And Ripon Grammar School saw its best ever set of A-Level results with 79.5 per cent at A*-B grades with over half at A* and A.
Headmaster Jonathan Webb said: “I am delighted with these results and, delighted to see so many smiles this morning. Behind the statistics there is always such a range of individual success stories. The students have worked supremely hard and deserve every congratulation.”
Rossett School, in Harrogate, saw a strong performance in its traditional subjects, with more than 44 per cent of the results in English Literature being at the top level, alongside 40 per cent in mathematics.
“Despite the annual backdrop of national press coverage that either calls into question the rigour of examinations, or the possible compromises in pass rates, the real story in schools up and down the country is the success of individual students in achieving their personal best results,” said headteacher Helen Woodcock. “Today is a time for us to celebrate.”
Among the more astonishing of achievements was a student from Thorne, near Doncaster, who gained a clean sweep of five A* grades and is to fulfil a childhood dream of studying at Cambridge University.
Jack Parkinson will read computer science after his top performance in mathematics, further mathematics, computer science, physics and the extended project qualification (EPQ). The 18-year-old was encouraged by staff at Trinity Academy to apply for Cambridge and attended summer schools there and at Oxford.
“I’m really looking forward to being around people who have similar interests to me,” he said.
A teenager who gained fame on Channel 4’s Child Genius programme has added to his A-level success with two more A*s.
Thomas Frith, a 15-year-old student at Horsforth School, won the Channel 4 programme back in 2015 and since then has continued to acquire academic accolades.
He already has an A-level in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, both graded A* and an A Level in Computer Science (A). This year he has also added to these by gaining an A* in both Physics and Additional Further Mathematics.
Dr Paul Bell, headteacher at Horsforth School, added “Thomas’s academic achievements are outstanding especially as he is only just about to start Year 11.
“His future certainly looks bright and we are very proud of him.”
Three more students at the school are celebrating after opening the envelope containing their results.
Harita Patel, Nathan Strathdee and James Fiddes said they were thrilled to gain four A* grades in their A Level results.
Ms Patel will go on to study medicine at Newcastle University, Mr Strathdee will study engineering at The University of Sheffield and Mr Fiddes will study physics at Durham University.
Dr Bell added: “We are so proud of all our A Level students but especially Harita, Nathan and James. It just shows what hard work and dedication can achieve and to gain four A* grades at A-level is exceptional.
“We are beyond proud and know that the students will go on to have very bright futures.”