Students make the grade with style

KEVI A level results 2011.'Birthday girl Amy Petrie.
KEVI A level results 2011.'Birthday girl Amy Petrie.
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RECORD results saw students celebrating at Morpeth’s high school as another set of staggering A-Level grades was revealed.

King Edward VI High School (KEVI) has reported its best ever results for the exams, surpassing even last year’s impressive set.

Overall, 98.8 per cent of exams taken at the school were marked a pass, up marginally on the 98.5 per cent last year.

The school also saw an increase in A* to B grades from 58 percent last year to 61 percent.

And the number of A* grades was also up, with 10 per cent of exams taken at the school marked at the highest grade compared to 9.8 per cent in 2010.

All of the figures exceed the national averages.

Headteacher Simon Taylor was delighted with the success.

“It is great,” he said.

“Last year was a significant leap for us in terms of results so to slightly improve on that this year is wonderful.

“It is all down to the tremendous commitment of the students and the staff, and the support from the parents. We are thrilled. There is lots of well-deserved success.

“Across the board of subjects the results have been good so I’m very pleased. It has been a lovely day. We do get nervous before we see the results, but now we’ve got them it feels great.”

A total of 217 pupils took the exams at the school this year and despite tough competition for university places, the vast majority have secured a place on their first or insurance choice of course.

At least nine students will be heading to Oxford or Cambridge universities, matching the school’s highest number in a single year, and more were waiting to hear if they had also been accepted.

Competition has been particularly fierce for university places this year as annual tuition fees will rise to a maximum of £9,000 from 2012, compared to the present level of just over £3,000 a year.

In addition to helping this year’s A-Level students to gain a place, teachers at KEVI have also been assisting former students who have decided to apply for courses now.

Head of Year 13 Emma Familton said: “There were 216 applications to university from our past and present students this year, which is really high, and quite a few students who were going to have a gap year have decided against it because of the fee increase.

“We still have some students who have decided to take a gap year, however.

“It is good to see such a fantastic set of results. I’m not sure of the number exactly, but most people have got into their top university or their insurance choice, probably about 90 per cent.”

Birthday girl Amy Petrie, of Ulgham, is just one of those heading off to her first choice university, having been accepted at Warwick to study mechanical engineering after achieving two A grades and a B.

The 18-year-old said: “It has been a very happy birthday. This is what I wanted.

“I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t know I had got my university place so it was a bit of a relief to see my results.

“It is probably the best present I could get.”

Meanwhile, Charlotte Kennedy has stuck to her plans to take a gap year.

She initially decided on the path as she was unhappy with her AS-Level results last year, but her two As and a B at A-Level have more than made up for them.

“I’m having a year out because I didn’t want to apply to university with my AS-Level results.

“I didn’t really think of the financial impact, but I’ll definitely be happier applying to uni with my A-Level results, which are a lot better,” she said.