TWINS Jade and Josh Anderson battled through their GCSEs despite losing their beloved dad John to a brain tumour aged just 47 in March.
The 16-year-old students of Dene Community School, in Peterlee, dedicated their 17 grades, including As in art and IT for Jade and an A in IT for Josh, to their father, who worked at Asda Peterlee and was married to Kelly, 37.
The pair have achieved highly, despite missing two to three lessons a week for bereavement counselling.
Josh said: “Dad would be so proud of us.”
Headteacher at Dene, Kelvin Simpson said the school is celebrating its best-ever GCSE results.
Seventy per cent gained A*-C in English and maths, and more than 80 per cent achieved A*-C in English.
Mr Simpson paid tribute to staff for supporting students and added: “I am thrilled for the students and pleased that they can now make the next step in their education, employment and training.”
At The Academy at Shotton Hall, top performer was Poppy Stuart, 16, of Hesleden, with a staggering 10 A*s.
Shocked Poppy is off to English Martyrs Sixth Form College to study four A-levels.
Shotton Hall students are celebrating after 76 per cent of students achieved five or more A*-Cs including English and maths.
And it was the school’s best year for marks in the three core subjects, with 95, 83 and 97 per cent passing English, maths and science respectively.
Principal Lesley Powell said: “Year after year our students outshine national averages and achieve outstanding exam success.”
At St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Thomas Johnson, 16, bagged 10 GCSEs including five A*s in Maths, geography, additional science, history and core science, and As in English literature, further additional science, RE, French and English language and a starred distinction in engineering.
Emma Jackson, 16, bagged nine GCSEs including five A*s, in health and social care, RE, PE, history and English literature.
Assistant headteacher John O’Hara said the school had its best-ever results with 64.8 per cent gaining A*-Cs including in English and maths.
“These results are due to the hard work by staff and students,” he said.
The Easington Academy pass rate was also its best-ever, with 73 per cent of students achieving five or more A*-Cs, including English and maths.
Headteacher Toni Spoors attributes the improvement to the hard work and commitment of students and staff.
Top-peformer at Wellfield Community School was Adam Presho, with a staggering 11 A*s and an A.
Wellfield saw 61 per cent of students gaining A*-C in English and Maths.
Headteacher Linda Rodham said: “Congratulations to all of our Year 11 students.
“Once again our students have done particularly well in English and maths. We are very proud.”
Durham County Council chiefs said early indications show overall, 63 per cent of pupils achieved five A*-Cs, including English and maths.
But they acknowledged that changes in exams mean only results of first exams taken after September 29 last year are taken into account, rather than re-sits.
Therefore County Durham’s average will be reported nationally as 59 per cent.