THE hard work of students and staff has seen East Durham schools achieve their best-ever year for GCSEs.
Top performer was The Academy at Shotton Hall student Ryan Baxter, from Peterlee, who bagged a staggering 12 A*s and two As.
The 16-year-old, who is off to Hartlepool Sixth Form College to study A-levels, said: “I’m thrilled.”
The school saw its best year yet, with 79 per cent of students achieving five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths – around 20 per cent higher than the national average.
Principal Lesley Powell said: “Students have once again shown enormous dedication and commitment to their studies.”
Paul Willis, 16, has high aims after bagging a staggering nine A*s in his GCSE results.
The St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Peterlee, student also achieved two Cs and is now off to study an international baccalaureate at Newcastle Sixth Form College.
Assistant headteacher John O’Hara congratulated staff and students and said more students than ever have exceeded the Government’s benchmark of making three and four levels of progress in English and Maths since starting in Year 7.
Dene Community School student Amanda Griffin, 16, from Peterlee, achieved three A*s, three As, two Bs and a C and is off to Durham Sixth Form to study A-Levels.
Twins Jordan and Cory Fenwick, 16, from Peterlee, who are members of Peterlee Young Firefighters, achieved a dozen passes between them and are off to East Durham College.
Their younger brother, Michael, 15, bagged four Cs a year early and hopes to improve next year.
The school is celebrating 58 per cent of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths, with at least 83 per cent obtaining at least five A-C grades.
Easington Academy student Matthew Calvert, 16, from Easington Village, gained three A*s, four As and a B and is off to Hartlepool Sixth Form.
Headteacher Toni Spoors said last year 68 per cent of students achieved five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths. But this figure has risen to 70.5 per cent, which she attributes to “the hard work and commitment shown by students and staff”.
Wellfield Community School was another school to achieve its best ever GCSE results.
It recorded an impressive pass rate for students getting five A* to C grades, including maths and English, of 59 per cent.
Headteacher Linda Rodham said the school saw “huge improvements” in maths and English this year with the top pass rates both up, adding: “Despite having been in only half of the school for the last year we have exceeded all our targets.
“As headteacher I’m very proud of all the students’ hard work and also of the staff.”
Aidan Kelly, 16, of Wheatley Hill, was jumping for joy when he opened his results with three As, five Bs a C and a distinction in sport.
“I have been dreading today all holidays and now I can relax.”
Fellow high flyer Luke Catlugh, 16, from Wingate, was equally happy with an A*, A, five Bs and a C plus a distinction in PE.