Students in Chester and the surrounding areas are finding out their A-level results today.
Below is a round-up of how some of the schools have performed.
Abbey Gate College
ABBEY Gate College A level students achieved impressive A level results, with more than 80 per cent of all grades at A* to C.
Top performing students included:
* Nicholas Bradley (3A*, 1A) who is going to Imperial College London with a prestigious scholarship to read physics with theoretical physics.
* Nathan Davies (2A*, 1A) is studying philosophy at Durham.
* Edward Hockedy (2 A*, 1A) who is also going to Durham University and will study computer science.
* Eliot Weir (1A*, 2A) is studying geology at Edinburgh University.
* Molly Barendt (3A’s) is studying medicine at Liverpool.
* Ruth Siddorn, who achieved A*’s in biology and chemistry and an A grade in maths is now looking forward to reading Chemistry at Oxford University and, given that she is a talented rower.
Other notable performers were: Adam Ryder (2A, 1B), Haydn Williams (2A, 1B) and Joseph Kelly (1A, 2B).
Headteacher, Tracy Pollard, said: "I am very proud of the achievements of our sixth formers. They are a promising group of young people with many diverse talents, as well as proven academic ability. They have contributed a great deal to the success of the college in many areas, have been excellent role models and I am sure each student will make a great success of their future and I wish them all the best."
The Bishops’ Blue Coat High School
THREE students from The Bishops’ Blue Coat High School have secured places at Oxford or Cambridge universities.
Catrin Lloyd gained A*A*A A and will study natural sciences at Cambridge while Jess Colston amassed four A*s and an A to be accepted at Oxford to study philosophy, politics and economics.
Former student Charlotte Miles will join Jess at Oxford having been offered an unconditional place to study medicine following her results last summer of A*A*A*A.
She has spent the past year gaining experience in hospitals and other medical facilities while keeping in touch with the school through the application process.
Overall, more than half of A-level students at the school achieved A*, A or B grades, with 10 per cent gaining at least three A* or A grades.
Head of sixth form, Jonathan Deakin, said: “For us, today is about destinations as much as results. The vast majority of our students are heading to their first choice destination beyond our sixth form.
We have students moving on to degrees, foundation degrees, gap years, apprenticeships, high-status school leaver employment schemes as well as to The Russell Group and Oxbridge.
“We are proud of all our students who have gained the grades they need to access the next step of their education and lives. Each student has been valued for the role they played in our sixth form community and we wish them well for the future.”
Other high achievers included Penny Mitchell (AAAB) who will now go to Manchester University to study psychology, Stuart Berrow (A*AAB) who will study natural sciences at Lancaster University and Georgia Large (AAB) who will study human biology at Loughborough.
Christleton High School
SIXTH Form students and staff at Christleton High School have good reason to celebrate their examination success this year, with 70 per cent of all A level grades between A*- C.
It was a day of anticipation and congratulations for the 118 Year 13 students who collected their results and for most, this was the first step on their way to university life.
A total of 60 per cent of students gaining one or more A* - B grades was testimony to their hard work over the last two years.
Impressive results were achieved by a number of students with nine students gaining at least 3 A*or A Level grades, including Anna Faulkner, who achieved 4 A* grades and is going to read chemical engineering at Cambridge University.
Other notable success stories include: Jed Birch, who is applying for Oxbridge next year; Jamal Rizvi, who will study English at UCL and Philip Vokes, who is hoping to study automotive engineering.
Saoirse Walker will read economics at Edinburgh; Eliza Mageean - psychology at Durham; Ellie Weaver - psychology at Cardiff and Louis Harnett O’Meara will read English at Bristol.
Arun Paul and Sam Mellor also achieved 3 As and a B.
Headteacher, Tony Lamberton, said : “Despite the recent changes in examination protocol that has placed even greater demands on students, we have had the highest expectations of this year group and they have lived up to these with a set of results that will take them on their future paths.
“It is a credit to their determination, resilience and commitment to learning that they have met the demands of A Level study. We continue to be proud of their achievements and wish them happy and successful futures.”
The Catholic High School
THE HEADTEACHER of a Chester school has criticised the Government for “moving the goalposts” for A-level students.
John Murray praised sixth-formers at The Catholic High School for coping well with “significant changes” brought in this year, particularly the abolition of January exams.
He said: “The students have dealt very well with whatever has been put in their way. Governments happily make decisions part way through students' courses without really taking into account the effect it has on the young people.
“Our students can feel very proud they have achieved so well despite the goalposts moving.”
More than 98 per cent of A-level students at the school passed their exams, with almost four out of 10 achieving A*, A or B grades.
Retiring head of sixth form Kathy Fitzgerald declared 2014 to be a “vintage year” for the 90 students.
She said: “This is one of our largest upper sixth groups and they have proven what great students they are, as well as being great young people. They have such big hearts and I know they will go on to make a real difference wherever they go next.
“They have given me a great send-off from school and now I'm proud to be sending them off in turn.”
Chair of governors, and proud parent, Peter Devine, said: “The effort put in by the students, their teachers, and indeed the support from parents, has been exceptional. I congratulate the students and the school on this year's success.”
* One of the top achievers, Hannah Carter, took part in the International Space School Educational Trust summer school before taking her exams, working with NASA astronauts and mission controllers.
She gained three A* grades and will study physics and Imperial College London. Kathleen Devine and Rebecca Vickers also bagged straight A* grades, and are off to study history at university.
Queens Park High School
SIXTH-FORMERS at Queen's Park High School achieved A*, A or B grades in 60 per cent of their exams.
The school also recorded a pass rate of almost 100 per cent, with 25 per cent of grades at A* or A.
Headteacher Stephen Casey said: “As always we are extremely proud of our students' achievements. Their hard work and determination have paid off, with the vast majority of students gaining their first choice university place.
“This is a credit to our sixth form students and a true reflection of the high quality teaching and learning that the school provides. We have a good sixth form which produces good and outstanding results.”
Clare Scanlon, director of learning, added: “Results day is a very proud moment, both for me, the students, their parents and the teaching staff. The enthusiasm, commitment and hard work of the students have been rewarded with these fantastic results. I am delighted for them all and would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the best for their very bright futures.
“We are justifiably proud of the high grades that many students have achieved. Many of our students achieve grades above expectations based on their prior attainment, outperforming national achievements.
“I would like to thank all my colleagues for their skilful teaching and the huge amount of support that they offer to students, both of which have contributed to our students’ well deserved success.”
James McDermott achieved A*s in physics and maths and an A in further maths, gaining him a place at Manchester University to study civil engineering.
Struan Fishburn is going on to study chemical engineering at Leeds University after attaining an A* in physics and As in maths and chemistry.
Anna Houghton achieved A*s in art and English literature and a B in English language to secure a place at Liverpool John Moore’s university to undertake a degree in fine art.
Hope Slater gained an A* in English literature, an A in art and two starred distinctions in music allowing her to gain a place to study fine art at Oxford University’s Balliol College.
Upton High School
DESPITE the national trend showing a drop in the number of top grades at A level, at Upton High School almost 55 per cent of students achieved A*, A or B grades.
This is a further increase on last year’s results and again above the national average.
A total of 78 per cent of students have gained A*-C grades.
And the number of students gaining A* and A grades is also up – with more than one in five of students gaining the highest grades, 28 per cent compared to the national average of 26 per cent.
Yet again Upton have a large proportion of students who have gained top grades in sciences and maths (STEM subjects) as well as in the arts and social sciences and who will be going on to study at elite universities.
Headteacher Paula Dixon, said: “I am absolutely delighted at these outstanding results which comfortably exceed national averages and are a further improvement on last year’s successes. It is proof that real team work and consistent effort does lead to success; these results have not happened by chance, they are testament to the tremendous hard work, dedication and commitment of the staff and students combined with the support from the parents and carers of Upton High School.
“I would like to thank everyone involved for their contribution towards the continuing success of Upton-by-Chester High School, which continues to go from strength to strength.”
Some of the top performing students at Upton included:
• Rebecca Hirst has gained a place at Cambridge University to study English with A* in English literature and 2 A grades in history and sociology.
• Sam Hu will be going to Imperial College London to study Maths, having gained 2 A*s in both maths and further maths and grade A in physics.
• Rebecca Stroud achieved 3 straight A* grades in biology, chemistry and maths and will be studying Biomedical Sciences at Sheffield.
• Lucy Searle will be studying medicine at Sheffield having gained 2 A*s in both chemistry and biology and grade A in maths.
• Josie Creeth has achieved A* in English literature and 2 A grades in both Spanish and French and will study Modern Languages at Birmingham
• Dom Parente gained 3 straight A grades in chemistry, physics and maths and will study Chemical Engineering at Manchester
• Juliette McQueen achieved 4 straight A grades in biology, chemistry, maths and physics and will be taking a gap year before applying for medicine.
• Christopher Morrison achieved 3 straight A grades in chemistry, maths and PE and will study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Birmingham.
• Alex Turner achieved 3 straight A grades in chemistry, physics and maths and will study Chemical Engineering at Leeds
• Freya Phillips achieved A* in biology and 2 A grades in English literature and French and will study English at York
• Claire Brewin achieved 2 A*s in English literature and drama and grade A in politics and will be taking a gap year before applying to Drama School.
• Matthew Pryer achieved 2 A* grades in chemistry and maths and grade B in physics and will be studying chemistry at Nottingham
• Rosanna Shaw gained 3 straight A grades in psychology, sociology and religious studies and will study midwifery at Salford University.
• Zoe Thompson achieved A* in English Literature and A grades in both English language and history and will study English literature and history at York
• Dana Roberts gained 3 straight A grades in English language, media and psychology and will be going to Newcastle University to study English and Psychology.
• Rebecca Pentith achieved A* in psychology, A grade in PE and B in religious studies and will be staying in her home city of Chester to study Sport and Exercise Science – while continuing her Irish dancing career.
See full story in the Chester Leader