PICTURE GALLERIES: Record-breaking North Devon students delighted with A-Level results

West Buckland students Callum Adams, Thomasin Light, Jasmine Brent, Beth Withecombe, Laura Wormington, Sean Davies, Rachel Groome and Hannah Evans West Buckland students Callum Adams, Thomasin Light, Jasmine Brent, Beth Withecombe, Laura Wormington, Sean Davies, Rachel Groome and Hannah Evans

Thursday, August 14, 2014
3:10 PM

North Devon bucks the national trend with improved results on last year across the region’s schools

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NORTH Devon students bucked the national trend as A-level grades across the area crept up once again.

There were smiles on faces and tears of joy at West Buckland School, Petroc in Barnstaple, Bideford’s Kingsley School and Bideford College and Ilfracombe Academy, as they all reported an improvement on last year’s results.

The best-ever results sets came against the backdrop of a national drop in the pass rate for the first time in more than 30 years.

Ilfracombe Academy students celebrate their A level results.Ilfracombe Academy students celebrate their A level results.

West Buckland again led the way with a pass rate of 99.5 per cent, including over three quarters at A*-B – the eighth successive year the school has achieved more than two thirds at that level.

Headmaster John Vick said: “Last year’s results were excellent but this year they are even better.

“It is extremely rewarding for parents, teachers and everyone at the school to see these young people do so well.”

Pupil Sean Davies, who achieved an A* in English literature and A grades in history and religious studies, said: “I was awake most of last night with nerves but I can now relax and look forward to university in September.”

Petroc achieved a pass rate in excess of 99 per cent for third year in a row, with 22 per cent of grades at A* or A – a two per cent jump on last year.

Polly Lang, who achieved four A* grades, said she was ‘gobsmacked with her results, while head of humanities and sciences Keith Devine said: “It is really gratifying to see so many Petroc students succeeding in achieving their first choice university places and I wish them all every success in the future.”

It was a similar story of success at Bideford College, where A*-B grade rose 10 per cent on 2013.

College principle Veronica Matthews said: “We are incredibly proud of our students and what they have achieved and we wish them all the very best for the future. These are the ‘best ever’ Sixth Form results for the college and we are committed to making sure that this improvement is sustainable.”

Kingsley School, too, recorded better results than 12 months ago, with a 97 per cent pass rate including nearly two thirds (63 per cent) at A*-B.

Headmaster Simon Woolcott said: “Inspirational teachers have unlocked the talents and the desire to learn which has uncovered the potential of our upper sixth form.

“We are all delighted when our pupils find their passion and are inspired.”

Ilfracombe Academy is celebrating after recording its best ever results for the second year running.

Headteacher Sharon Marshall said they were ‘absolutely delighted’ after the school achieved a 99.5 per cent pass rate at A level plus 84 per cent at AS level.

“It shows we have a sustained track record of high achievement at A level as a result of hard work by staff and students and the culture of excellence in the sixth form,” she said.

“As we know from press reports, they are getting tougher and we have maintained our standards in a really challenging climate.”

Three students are on their way to Oxbridge – Daniel Oakes achieved four A* grades and will read Natural Sciences at Cambridge.

Hannah Judge gained two A* and an A and will study history at Oxford: “It’s three As and I was not sure if I was going to get that, so I am really happy,” she said.

Megan Jones got an A* and three A to enable her to go to Oxford and study Material Science and Engineering.

Sam Nicol said he was shocked to discover three B grades at A level plus an A in AS Russian, an exam he resat after not doing well last year: “I was speechless when I opened them as I didn’t think I had done as well as that. I am looking to do an apprenticeship in media rather than the usual uni route,” he said.

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