A-level students in the Derbyshire Dales have been opening their final results this morning to discover how much their hard work has paid off and which doors will open for university and other post-18 destinations.
Highfields School in Matlock continued its solid record of achievement of recent years, with 77 per cent of students achieving A*-C grades.
Sixth Form director Martin Flett said: “We are proud of so many results which represent great achievement for individuals, sometimes against the odds.
“Whilst most students are going to university, this year we have also seen some very strong candidates heading for highly competitive degree apprenticeship places with Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid and Balfour Beatty. They were all put through many stages of selection, and now have excellent prospects ahead of them.”
Two of the standout performers at Highfields were Alice Garnett and Bethan Elliott, who secured English literature places at Oxford and Cambridge respectively.
Helen Key, the school’s head of English literature, said: “The maturity of their thinking and their detailed understanding of so many different genres of literature went well beyond A Level, and meant that they made a wonderful contribution to our class discussions.
“They thoroughly deserve their places at Oxford and Cambridge.”
Students Cara Makin and Ben Merrick achieved five A* grades between them and are both now heading off to study dentistry, while students such as Katie Ross, Tom Scott and Maevanwy Hill achieved multiple A* results and have secured places on prestigious courses for English, biology and geology.
The proportion of Highfields students achieving grade C or above was slightly down on the school’s 80 per cent score in 2017, but reflects a nationwide trend which may be partly explained by changes in the exam system.
Across the country, the proportion of students scoring A*-C dropped to 78.4 per cent from 79 per cent last year.
At Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth, 63 per cent of year 13 students achieved at least one Grade A or equivalent.
Among them, were several who scored A* or A in every subject they were entered for, and the school’s management said most of the cohort met or exceeded their aspirational target grades and statistics showing young people with a wide range of abilities and a variety of backgrounds achieved very well.
Headteacher Malcolm Kelly praised staff and students for their hard work and dedication.
He added: “It was wonderful to see so many happy faces this morning as students from years 12 and 13 opened their results envelopes.
For the older students, today marked the end of their time at a school in which they have developed friendships and a love of learning which will last a lifetime.”
Anthony Gell will see 94 per cent of students move on to their first choice of university courses, while others have opted for alternative pathways such as apprenticeships in business and marketing, electrical engineering, veterinary nursing and construction.
Academic destinations include veterinary medicine at the University of Nottingham, medical genetics at the University of Leicester, medicine at the University of Glasgow, and music at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Surrey.
Other students will go on to psychology at the University of Leeds, sports therapy and rehabilitation at the University of Derby, chemical engineering at the University of Sheffield, and engineering geology at the University of Plymouth.
Malcolm said: “I wish them all the very best of luck for what lies ahead and look forward to hearing about their future successes.
“We are all very proud of them and feel confident that these young people will go on to achieve even more and make a positive difference to the areas in which they live and work.”