STUDENTS in Ponteland High School’s A-Level class of 2011 were jumping for joy after achieving great results.
Twenty students gained three or more A* or A grades, compared with 14 last summer, and the average point score per student improved from 753 in 2010 to 831, which is the equivalent of more than two grades.
More than a quarter of all the entries, 28.2 per cent, scored top A* to A grades and over half, 53.67 per cent, earned A* to B marks, compared with 47.3 per cent last year, while three quarters of the entries notched up a grade C or above.
Among the successful students was Sixth Form President Charlotte Whaley.
The 18-year-old, who lives in Cheviot View, will study law with French at the University of Sheffield after getting A* grades in performing arts and general studies and Bs in French and English literature.
She said: “I had a lot of happy emotions when I opened the letter because I needed two As and a B to get on the course and I was expecting to have to go through clearing.
“I enjoyed studying French and so I wanted to continue doing the subject and it brings an international dimension to the degree. I will also get to study French Law in France during my third year.
“I’m very grateful to my subject teachers and form tutor Miss Fielding. I had a lot of stuff going on in my President role and they were very supportive and understanding.”
Ponteland resident Peter Suttie achieved two A*s in maths and physics and he received an A for further maths to secure his place on a physics course at Birmingham.
“I was nervous coming here and it was a great relief to get the grades I needed as I had my heart set on doing the Birmingham course,” he said.
“I really enjoyed studying physics at school and the degree covers the whole subject because I want to keep my options open.
“I played football and table tennis during Sixth Form, which helped to relieve the stress of coursework and exams.”
It was a double celebration for Harpreet Guraya, as she turned 18 three days before finding out her results.
She got A*s in biology and general studies and As in chemistry and maths and from September she will study pharmacy at Sunderland.
“I tried not to think about A-Levels too much over the last few weeks, but on my birthday they were on the back of my mind as they were coming up soon,” said Harpreet.
“I was relieved and really happy to do so well and now I’m looking forward to university.”
Three B grades for Charlotte Palmer in history, geography and biology got her on an archaeology degree at Nottingham.
She said: “I’m pleased with my results and I was surprised by my history grade as I had lower expectations for the subject.
“I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty out in the field — the Medieval period and stone work are my main areas of interest.”
Katie Wood, who lives in Ingoe near Matfen, will study sociology at Newcastle University after getting an A in that subject as well as a B in general studies, C in English language and D in English literature.
“I did the university’s Partners summer school programme and as I passed with merit I got a lower points offer, which turned out to be very helpful,” she said.
“I really enjoy sociology as you learn about why people do the things they do in a range of circumstances. I’m a little nervous, but mainly looking forward to living in student accommodation.”
Bradley West will do an earth sciences degree at Manchester. He received A, B and C grades.
He said: “I was elated with my results, particularly the C in chemistry because I was worried that I would do badly in that subject. Many of us are going out in Newcastle to celebrate.
“I wanted to do earth sciences as it covers a range of topics including oceanography and petrology.”
Bethany Facer is off to Keele University to study neurosciences and psychology.
“I was just two points off a higher grade in a couple of my subjects so I think the university took that into consideration,” she said.
“I’ve done some research into Alzheimer’s Disease, which is my main subject of interest, and I’m looking forward to doing my own work on it.”
In 17 different subjects, more than half the students entered achieved A* to B grades and those who completed BTEC Business courses also did well, with ten youngsters achieving double distinctions, equivalent to two A levels.
Other subjects that Ponteland students are going to study at universities across the UK include medicine, mathematics, bio-medical sciences, computing science, architecture, economics, business, English and nursing.
Ponteland High Headteacher Stephen Prandle said: “All our A-Level students deserve congratulations for their performance. It is great to see such an improvement in achievement across the board from the already high standard set in previous years.
“Our post-16 students’ magnificent results this summer are indicative of the quality of teaching and learning that goes on at Ponteland High and I would like to congratulate them, and their teachers, for their tremendous efforts.
“Parents deserve praise too, for working alongside teachers to motivate, encourage and support their youngsters.
“This successful partnership means that, once again, a huge number of our youngsters have gained places at top universities and we wish them all well in their future studies and careers.”