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Saturday, 23 May 2015

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Tynedale: Hard work pays off for top class pupils

THE anxious wait for exam results is over for the final crop of Tynedale teenagers.

All smiles as, from left, Victoria Halford, Jane Oxnard and Rachael Hurren receive their GCSE results at Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School.

The district’s schools bucked the regional and national trend with high GSCE pass rates last Thursday.

Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School celebrated the best results in its history with 84 students gaining five or more A* or A grades.

Among them were Campell Brooks, from Slaley, who scooped a complete set of A*s alongside Izzy Daltry, of Stocksfield, who also got a distinction in further maths.

“I was hoping for all A*s but that didn’t mean I was going to get it,” Campbell said.

“I will stay on for sixth form and I’m considering studying biochemistry at Cambridge or Oxford if I can achieve the right results.”

Victoria Halford was another student to walk away with all A* and A results, and she hopes to go on to study biochemistry after sixth form.

Hexham’s Noah McNeill, who is blind, attained seven A*s and four As. With plans to stay on for sixth form and a love of music, he is now considering a future in the music industry.

He said: “It wasn’t what I was expecting; I’m kind of overwhelmed and shocked.”

Corbridge girls Rachel Hurren and Polly Pym were also shaking with happy joy when they opened their envelopes.

Rachel not only managed to achieve four A*s and three As, but also a distinction in further maths and full marks in her Italian exam, and wants to go on to study Asian linguistics.

Polly was awarded three A*s, four As, and a distinction in performing arts.

She said: “I’ve never felt such relief. I feel like all my options have opened up again.”

Both girls plan to stay on for sixth form.

Following in their footsteps are Hexham’s Matty Volpe, with results including six A*s and three As, Stocksfield’s Jane Oxnard, with seven A*s and three As, and Hexham’s Tallulah Mason with two A*s and eight As.

Needless to say retiring headteacher Neil Morrison was delighted on results day.

“There are a lot of very happy people today,” he said. “If someone asked me the best way to go out then this would be it; the best ever GSCE results and lots of happy students and teachers.”

Ponteland also improved on last year with 72 per cent of students gaining five A* to C grades including English and maths, 18 students gaining A* or A grades in all of their GCSEs, and 40 students with A* or A grades in seven or more GCSEs.

Headteacher Kieran McGrane added: “It always amazes me to see how packed the hall is with parents with their children, and that indicates how important results are to so many children.”

In Alston, Samuel King’s also celebrated one of its best group of results.

Top of the class was Niobe Dodd who moves on to A-levels with six A*s and three further A grades, while in year 10 Lydia Dunn took six GCSEs a year early, gaining five A grades and one B.

Prudhoe High School achieved a 60 per cent rate in pupils gaining five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths.

Headteacher Deborah Reeman put it down to a dramatic decrease in the gap in progress between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

Further afield seven local pupils from Dame Allan’s schools in Newcastle celebrated outstanding results.

Olivia Brown, from Prudhoe, and Eleanor Pinches, from Hexhamshire, were awarded all A* to A grades at GCSE, while Thomas Allender, from Hexham, Matthew Anderson and Thomas Dodd, both from Corbridge, and James Nicholson, from Stocksfield, also achieved all A* to A grades.

Fellow pupil Edward Gallagher, from Hexham, received the remarkable distinction of a complete set of A* grades.