There were plenty of smiling faces around North Devon as school pupils received their GCSE results today (Thursday). There were best-ever performances at South Molton Community College, where 23 per cent of students achieved three or more A and A* grades, and 28 per cent achieving the English Baccalaureate. Maths was also a highlight at South Molton, with 76 per cent of year 11s making three levels or more progress from their end of year six results. Principal Andrew Finney said: We are very pleased with the effort and dedication that our students have put into their studies over the past five years. Every student is important to us. While several obtained straight A and A* grades, and will I am sure attend a leading university in time, other students have progressed really well since starting in year seven.It was another outstanding year at Great Torrington School, where 64 per cent attained five A*-Cs including English and maths; 78 per cent attained A*-C in English language and 73 per cent attained A*-C in maths. Languages also performed extremely well. Head teacher Tracey Amos said: We are very proud of the effort and hard work that the pupils have shown and the dedication of all the staff at GTS to enable these outstanding results.Chulmleigh Community College had a good day, too. 77 per cent of students attained the gold standard of five A*-C grades including English and maths. More than a quarter of grades were A* or A and more than half were A*s, As and Bs. Mike Johnson, executive head teacher said: Staff at Chulmleigh are delighted with the exceptional progress so many of our students have made to get these excellent results and congratulate them. We think our results speak for us this year. Attainment and progress have been very high.Hana Fletcher achieved the holy grail at Shebbear College, bagging 10 A*s. The school enjoyed one of its best-ever sets of results, with particularly strong showings in sciences and art. Headmaster Simon Weale said: This is a very encouraging set of results and it is fitting that this super year group will be the first to move into our new sixth form building. We are a deliberately small and non-selective school and we celebrate those who have achieved five good passes to get into the vocational course of their choice just as much as those with stellar results. I am delighted that our pass rate for A*-C is almost 20 per cent above the national average.Kingsley School is celebrating the best set of GCSE results in its history. While top grades nationally dropped slightly, there was a 16 per cent jump at Kingsley in the number of A* and A grades. Headmaster Simon Woolcott was delighted with the results. I get most enjoyment knowing that behind our top results today I have a great set of students, he said. Our record results are also important to me because they sit so well alongside the kindness, helpfulness and thoughtfulness that we value so much in these wonderful young people. I am sure the students will join me in my appreciation of the unstinting dedication, encouragement and commitment of their teachers who are looking forward to the start of term and seeing our GCSE students enjoying sixth form life.And it was a pleasing year for The Park Community School, where the top 30 academic high-flyers secured 267 of the top A*\/A grades between them. Head teacher David Atton said: Our focus is upon each student securing his or her individual best. We are particularly pleased for those who have confirmed their academic excellence, with all students who have achieved their full potential deserving our congratulations and praise. Each has a place secured for their future education and employment.West Buckland School delivered another exceptional set of results, as 53 per cent of exams were awarded A* or A grades, with 95 per cent of all exams passed at A* to C. 97 per cent achieved the all-important five or more passes at grade C or higher. Headmaster John Vick said: I am delighted for our year 11s who have worked incredibly hard which has paid off in excellent results. Over many years our pupils performance at GCSE has been consistently strong and this is the fifth time in seven years that over half of all exams have been awarded A* or A grades. There have been some outstanding individual performances which are richly deserved and it is pleasing to see such good results from across the whole year group. This will give the pupils a solid foundation as they move into the next stages of their education. Given that the school has a wide ability intake, our overall results are testament to the quality of teaching and care for our students, their hard work and application, and of course, the support from parents and families.There were plenty of success stories at Braunton Academy. Principal Mick Cammack said: We would like to thank the students families for their help and support during this time, since the grades awarded today are very much a result of the special partnership enjoyed by the students, their parents\/carers and the academy. We are very proud of all our young people with whom we have had the privilege to work over the last five years. We wish them every success in their next stage of their education and training and, of course, hope that they will remember their time at Braunton Academy with many fond memories.Following its best ever A-level results last week, Bideford College is again celebrating with improved GCSE results. More than half of the colleges year 11 students have achieved five higher grade passes including English and maths. Interim principal Andy Kilpatrick said: This is a pleasing set of results and a further, clear indication that the college is off to a good start on its journey to becoming an outstanding school. Particularly pleasing are the strong performances in the core areas of English, maths and science.