Almost a third of students (29 per cent) gained A* or A grades, while 56 per cent gained A* to B and more than three quarters got A* to C at 79 per cent. Petroc's new principal Sean Mackney hailed a 'phenomenal' set of results. He said: "Today we are celebrating the success of our A-levels but also our BTEC and Access to HE learners as well. "I would anticipate that we will see Petroc in the top fifth in the whole country for our A-level results." Head of faculty Alison Knight said under the first year of the full 'linear A-level' there had been some expectation the results might dip, as was predicted nationally, but instead the college had bucked the national trend. She said: "It's very much a team effort, I am just incredibly proud of our staff and students. "With results like this it is absolute proof that Petroc is the place to do A-levels." Some of the student stories this year included India Dunkley from Barnstaple, who gained two A* grades in politics and English literature, as well as an A in philosophy. She is going to do a degree at Kings College in London to study international relations and politics. She said: "I want to go into politics but not mainstream, I want to be in the civil service or a UK diplomat, something back stage. "I was predicting an A* and two As, so the other A* was such a shock." Owen Cox from Northam also has his sights on a career after gaining an A* in psychology and As in sociology and biology. He is off to Cardiff University to study psychology and intends to make that his career. He said: "Petroc has been really good, they encourage hard work and in my opinion hard work is the most important thing in A-levels - you can have all the talent in the world but if you don't work hard you have no chance. "Thank you to James Baldaro and Suzie Smale, our course lecturers, who put in the hard work for us to get the results we needed."