STUDENTS across Harrogate were celebrating yesterday after receiving their A level results.
The grades will see many teenagers heading off to their first-choice universities this autumn after two years of hard work at school.
Among the top achievers was Francis Goodburn, a pupil at St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form, from Clifford near Wetherby, who achieved an astonishing six A*s and two As.
They included French, Portuguese and music, all of which he taught himself at home, taking two of his exams a year early.
He said: “I was really nervous before I collected my results - I just kept imagining all the things that could go wrong.
“I’m completely surprised. I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t really love the subjects.”
Francis will now go on to take an organ scholarship to St John’s, Oxford, reading maths and computer science.
With university places particularly sought-after this year, before tuition fees rise next September, getting the required grades was more important than ever. But pupils who missed out on the grades they needed for their chosen courses faced extra worry as they struggled to contact UCAS after the website crashed.
Rossett School’s head of sixth form Nicola Harland said pupils were celebrating top results, but added: “We have got a lot of feelings of uncertainty. For those students who do need to go through clearing, we can’t get on to access that.”
Pupils at Rossett achieved an overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent, with 41 per cent of grades at B or above.
Meanwhile, Harrogate High School pupils achieved record results for the third year running, with a 99 per cent pass rate and 46 per cent at B or above.
Principal Andrew Bayston said: “On all counts we have outstripped previous results and the pass rates really do reflect the hard work of our students, staff and the vital support that our parents provide.”
At St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form, more than 62 per cent of grades were B or above, and 12 per cent were A*.
Speaking for the joint sixth form, St Aidan’s headteacher Dennis Richards said: “It really has been an astonishing performance.
“We’re particularly pleased with the applicants for medicine, all of whom got in to university, and the same is true with our Oxbridge applicants.”
At Harrogate Grammar School, 60 per cent of grades were B or above and 10 per cent were A*.
Headteacher Richard Sheriff said: “We’re absolutely delighted about how successful our students have been this year.
“The vast majority are going on to universities of their first choice. It’s a real credit to the hard work of the students and staff.”
Harrogate Ladies’ College also celebrated, with more than 79 per cent of grades at B or above, and 13 per cent A*.
At Ashville College, 62 per cent of exams achieved B or above and 16 per cent were A*.
Headteacher Mark Lauder said: “With competition for university places and jobs never being keener, our students have again risen to the challenge and excelled themselves in these exams.
“I’m very proud of all the students and their deserved success and I wish them well as they take up their university places in the autumn.”
l For the full results, turn to Pages 18-25.