Jubilant teenagers from across the district are celebrating today as their A Level results are finally released.
After months of waiting, thousands of young students in Harrogate, Ripon, Wetherby, Knaresborough and Nidderdale have found out the results of their hard work.
For some, there were tears of happiness as dreams of a university place are finally realised, for many more, there were tears of sadness that those years of school are now over.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, has congratulated all of those young people who received their results today (Thursday).
“There’s no question that an A Level is a great personal achievement and today we can all celebrate the success of the hundreds of students in the constituency who have worked hard and are collecting their well earned results,” he said.
“We should also express thanks to teachers and staff in schools and colleges for their dedication and commitment in preparing their students for these challenging exams.
“For many years the results in this area have been outstanding and this is proven by the high percentage of students achieving 2 or more A levels.
“Once again well done to everyone and I wish all the very best of luck in whatever they decide to do in the future.”
Schools across the district are celebrating individual and group successes.
At Ashville College, more than a third of results came back as A*s or As.
Whilst 58 per cent of all exam results were graded A* - B, the overall pass rate - which saw nine pupils achieve a clean sweep of A*s and As – was, for the second year running, 97 per cent.
Ashville College headmaster Mark Lauder, said: “Once again Ashville College has recorded an excellent set of A-Level results.
“These results show that Ashville College continues to grow its reputation for academic success and this is borne out with these results.
“This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of not only the students, but to the college teaching staff who have helped – and in many cases inspired –them to attain these superb results.
“I’m very proud of all the students and their deserved success and the majority of them have been accepted into the universities of their choices.”
He added: “Last year we introduced a number of new subjects at A Level which were very well received, with high numbers opting for Psychology, Government and Politics, Environmental Studies and Additional Maths.”
Boroughbridge High School Sixth Form students are celebrating a record-breaking set of A Level results.
The highlight was A2 students who achieved 60 per cent of passes at A* to B.
A school spokesman said: “Results were very pleasing, and were reward for the hard work and commitment demonstrated by all our students and staff.
“In an increasingly competitive market for post A Level university places and employment, these results should stand all students in very good stead.
“These excellent results mean that the vast majority of pupils have achieved grades that will allow them to accept the university places they have been offered.”
Amongst the most notable achievements were Joseph Miles, who has taken four A*s at A2, two As at AS and will be following in the footsteps of many famous politicians in studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University.
Rosie Barrett, with two A*s and one A at A2, will study English Literature at Edinburgh University. Marguerite Walley, with two A*s, two As and one B at A2, will study Philosophy at Lancaster University.
Rachel Field, with four As at A2 and one A at AS, will study Veterinary Science at Bristol University, while Sarah Hams, with four As at A2, will study Philosophy at Sheffield University.
Joanna Kuunal took one A*, one A and two Bs and will study Zoology at Sheffield University. Sophie Bowyer took two As and one B and will study Spanish at Leeds University, Sam Charlton, with three As and one C at A2 will study Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University, while Imogen Collier, with two As and one B, will study Fine Art at Northumbria University.
At Boston Spa School, students are celebrating a pass rate of 99 per cent, with 94 per cent of students gaining a university place at the institution of their choice.
Overall, 33 per cent of all grades were A* or A, considerably higher than the national average of 25 per cent, and he Average Points per Entry has risen by more than 10 per cent.
Headteacher Christopher Walsh said: “We are really pleased with the results, coming so soon after our successful OFSTED inspection.
“In terms of academic ability this was a diverse year group, so to see the number of top grades and the APS rise is very good.
“We are delighted to see 94% of applicants achieve a university of their choice; this is so important and to exceed last year’s figure in this respect is exceptional in the current admissions climate.”
There are many individual stores. One achievement which stands out is Sophie Martin, who has secured her place at Hertford College Oxford to read History. Another young person, through very challenging personal circumstances, has earned a place at Trinity and All Saints University.
One student, with a statement for Special Educational Needs, is one of the year group going to Manchester University, and another young person who has spent his childhood and teens in Local Authority care takes a place at Leeds University.
“Add to this the student who was very ill through Year 13 but nevertheless takes a place in medical school next month, and I am sure you can understand why we are so pleased to celebrate the many achievements of the young people in school,” said Mr Walsh.
“It was pleasing to see the impact of our academic rigour in these achievements, but also to see evidence of the quality of the pastoral support securing good outcomes for all our young people.”
Gateways School in Harewood is delighted with its sixth form students’ A Level results.
In total, 46 per achieved cent A*/A grades, 78 per cent A*-B grades, and 95 per cent A*-C grades.
Mathematics, Psychology, Geography and Economics were subjects where students particularly excelled, said the school, with 73 per cent, 55 per cent, 80 per cent and 57 per cent of girls gaining A*/A in those subjects respectively. With Religious Studies, 85 per cent gained A*/A.
Most of the sixth formers will be going to their first choice of university, with 26 per cent of students achieving straight A*/A grades in all three of their A level subjects.
Headmistress Yvonne Wilkinson said: “We are delighted. We know that girls’ only high schools provide an environment in which girls are better able to focus on their academic performance – and these results prove it.
“We are extremely proud of the outstanding achievements of our sixth form students.”
Harrogate Grammar School headteacher Richard Sheriff said: “We are delighted that once again students in the Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School have performed extremely well in their examinations.
“Even more students this year achieved the highest grade of A or A*, some all at A*, and the average grade achieved also rose significantly.
“What is most important is that the vast majority of our students will now be able to take up their places at University, including eight students for Oxford and Cambridge.
“Their success is a credit to themselves, their families and the staff who work so hard to support the success of all our young people.”
Principal at Harrogate High School, Andrew Bayston, said: “There have been significant improvements in the results of students sitting AS examinations.
“The overall pass rate of 92 per cent shows 30 per cent of students achieving the top grades of A- B, up 11 per cent from 2011.
“The new leadership and management of post 16 education together with students’ motivation needs to be recognised and congratulated.”
Year 13 A2 students at Harrogate High School have achieved an overall pass rate of 96 per cent with 39 per cent of students achieving A*- B grades.
BTEC National Level 3 students in Year 13 achieved significantly improved results with an overall pass rate of 97 per cent, 58 per cent achieving grades equivalent to A and A*.
Mr Bayston said: “Developments made over the last year in both leadership and ethos at post 16 at Harrogate High School are reflected in the results above.
“We continue to offer a broad range of opportunities to meet the demands of our fast changing society.
“I would like to extend congratulations to all students and parents from the staff at Harrogate High School and offer best wishes for their futures.
“A significant majority of our students have gained the results needed for the next stage of their careers.”
Mrs Rhiannon Wilkinson, principal at Harrogate Ladies College, said “This has been another successful year for our U6 leavers. The results record an excellent set of achievements by our pupils. They are also a tribute to the work of their teachers and the support of their parents.”
Richard Tillett, head of Sixth Form, added: “What is so pleasing this year is that the girls have really pushed themselves and gained places on some outstanding courses. They deserve huge congratulations.”
Students at King James’ Knaresborough have bucked the national trend and seen an increase in levels achieving top grades. Just over half - 51 per cent - of grades awarded to King James students were A* to B.
Headteacher Carl Sugden said: “We expected much tougher marking this year due to government pressure to prevent grade inflation.
“We knew that this group of students had worked hard and we were delighted to see the overall pass rate increase, but especially to see that the number of higher grades awarded was 51 per cent.
“Our previous best was in 2005 when 46 per cent of grades were awarded A and B; so this is a very positive achievement.”
The school’s governors have congratulated students on their success, which includes a significant number of “clean sweeps” of A* and A grades.
Student Abigail Johnson achieved four A* grades and classmates Lydia Hill, Tom Haynes, Hannah Bruce, Jessica Hardwick, Emma Gilchrist, Katie Houldershaw, Beth Topham, Joanna Thompson and Jacob Kite were all awarded four A grades.
Chair of Governors Dennis James said: “The governors would like to congratulate the students on their success and also to the staff at the school who have worked hard to support them and to deliver another great set of A Level results.”
Sherburn High School students are once again celebrating a bumper set of A Level results this year with a 98 per cent pass rate and 63 per cent of students achieving an A*- C grade.
Head girl, Hannah Davis, achieved two A* grades (History and English Literature) and an A grade (English Language) she will now be heading to Durham University to study History.
Benjamin Atkinson also excelled with two A grades awarded in Business and Media studies and a B grade in History. He now intends to study Business at Lincoln university. Lucy Beilby achieved two A grades in Drama and Geography and will now be studying Geography at Newcastle university.
The school said that many other students achieved grades above their targets, with 16 achieving a 100 per cent pass rate.
AS students secured an 88 per cent pass rate with 51 per cent achieving A*-C grade. Several students including Bea Mills, Robbie Bancroft, Callum Miller and Katie Lakin achieved a handful of A grades and again, many students such as Hannah Thornton and Rebecca Williamson achieved higher than their target grades.
Headteacher Martyn Sibley, said: “The results are a testament to the hard work put in by the students and the excellent teaching and commitment from the staff at Sherburn High school.
“We are incredibly proud of our students and the fact that 22 of our Year 13 students will now be going on to continue their studies at university is fantastic.
“We are a small and very successful sixth form; the key is that we really know our students and help them every step of the way.”
Headteacher at St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form, John Wood, said: “This has been a record breaking year.
“Even though nationally the number of A* and A grades have declined, 62.7 per cent of the grades achieved by the 527 students in the Associated Sixth Form were A* - B grades – the highest figure that the association has ever achieved.
“Seventeen students will be taking up places at either Oxford or Cambridge colleges and we are delighted to say that the vast majority of students obtained places at either their first or second choice university.
“The demands put upon schools and students increase year on year but we are very pleased with the outcomes and feel privileged to have worked with these young people over the years.
“Every student should be congratulated on his/her efforts and achievements and we wish them all continued success in the future.”
At Tadcaster Grammar School, Headteacher Geoff Mitchell said: “This year’s results match the long tradition of success for A Level students at the school.
“Students have worked extremely hard to deliver well deserved success for themselves and the school. Applications to university have remained as high as in previous years.
“More than 50 per cent of students’ grades were A*, A and B, enabling the majority of students to gain the university place of their choice.
“There was much to celebrate this morning, recognising the time and commitment which has been invested by staff and students during the two years of study.”
Congratulations must go to Alex White, an Upper Sixth pupil at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) who lives in Harrogate, on his four A*grades in German, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics at A Level.
Other GSAL students from the Harrogate area who are also celebrating excellent results are Chris Whitley with A*s in Computing and Maths and A grades in Further Maths and Physics; Jamie Bowron of Knaresborough with A grades in Economics, English Literature and History and Michael Whitehead also achieved two A grades in Biology and Chemistry with a B in Physics.
Overall A Level students at GSAL are celebrating a record set of results with 17 students achieving A* grades in three or more subjects.
Principal Mike Gibbons said: “These results are the culmination of dedication and sheer hard work and I am very proud of our students.
“Changes in admissions policies this year mean that universities can recruit as many students with AAB results as they wish. This puts our students in an extremely strong position.
“I offer my congratulations to all of them and to the staff for the part they have played in these well-earned achievements.”
Headteacher at Wetherby High School, Andrea Barnes, said: “My congratulations go to all of our Year 12 and Year 13 students on their achievements, clearly reflected in their examination results which yet again, this year, show an overall percentage pass rate in the high nineties and some excellent individual achievements.
“We are proud of our tradition at Wetherby High School of ensuring that our students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to go on to higher education or secure good quality employment and our Year 12 and 13 students are no exception.
“I would like to wish them all the very best for their future paths and continued success.”