THIRTY Morpeth pupils have joined the ranks of the exam elite after notching up at least three top A-Level grades.
And the impressive gang of King Edward VI School star students includes no fewer than 23 who achieved all A* and A grades in their exams.
Among the A-team was Emma Gibson, of Longhorsley, who balanced her school work with a number of sporting commitments throughout the year, including regular sessions with the North of England hockey team.
She also organised sporting events at local middle and first schools through a Sports Leadership programme, and played football and netball for Northumberland.
Emma not only achieved A-grades for French and geography and an A* for general studies, but in securing her A* for PE, she was just one mark off achieving full marks in the subject over the last year of her course.
She said: “It was so scary getting the results and I felt really nervous, but I’m really pleased now.
“There were quite a lot of hockey training sessions, mainly four or five a week after school and at weekends, so it was pretty tough balancing everything.
“I’ll definitely keep up sport now I’ve left the school, but I don’t really know what I want to do as a career yet. I’m keeping my options open.”
Emma has secured a place at the University of Bath studying sports science.
Meanwhile, Ava Melville, of Morpeth, will be off to York University to read psychology after achieving an A* in the subject, as well as A grades in history and biology.
“I was very nervous about getting the results and beforehand I did a lot of planning for the clearing process and for it all to go wrong. I never expected to do so well,” she said.
“I did find out I had got my place before I came to school to get my results, but I didn’t expect them to be quite as good as this.
“It was easier opening the envelope knowing I had got into university.
“After that I just thought ‘this day can be fun’ because it didn’t really matter what I got.”
Also heading off to York is Richard Williams, who will study social and political sciences after getting A*s in sociology and psychology and an A in geography.
However, his celebrations had to be put on hold as he was due to work a shift at The Alley and Seen in Morpeth town centre.
“Something would have had to have gone very badly wrong for me not to get my place so I wasn’t quite as nervous as most of the other people, but it was a relief more than anything to get the results,” he said.
“It’s nice to get them out the way, but to celebrate I’ll be going to work.
“I will still get to see everyone there and at some point I’m sure I’ll be celebrating.”
Flossie Hunt, from Rothbury, is heading to Oxford to study history after achieving an A* in physics and A grades in politics, history and critical thinking.
She said: “I thought the physics would be a B and stop me from getting into Oxford, but it was my highest grade so I’m really surprised.
“I had to re-sit an exam, but I got full marks for it so I’m really excited.
“I’ve told my Mam and she is really happy.”
Another Oxford entrant is Josh Bossward, of Morpeth, who chalked up an A* for maths, A grades in further maths and physics and a B in chemistry.
“It’s a dream for me,” he said.
“I didn’t know how I had done, but I was hopeful of getting what I needed for my engineering course. I needed an A* and two As and I was quite confident of doing it, but it’s nice to get the results.
“I think my parents were probably more nervous than me, but I just feel so relieved now.”
Abigail Blackburn, of Morpeth, attained an A* in general studies and A grades for English literature, history and religious studies.
She said: “I did better than I thought I’d done. I was a bit worried about my exams, but I’m so happy with what I have got.
“I’ll be having lunch with my parents to celebrate. When I told them how I had done they were very excited and a bit giddy.
“I’m going to university in Leeds to do English, but I haven’t decided on a career yet.”
Tom Leslie, from West Duddo near Stannington, achieved an A* for art and graphics design and A grades for design technology and economics.
“I only needed 300 points for my course in design at Northumbria University, which was three Bs, but I hoped I would get three As – that was always my aim,” he said.
“It was fantastic to see the results. It is really good news.
“I’ve seen my Mam and phoned my Dad and they are over the moon. They were more nervous than me really.”
Tom completed an engineering education scheme in January as part of his course and he hopes one day to have his own studio, specialising in product and furniture design.
Georgia Traylor, of Morpeth, received three A grades in English literature, philosophy and history, and she will now be heading to Edinburgh University to study English literature and philosophy.
She said: “I was a little bit worried that I wasn’t going to get three As, but I only needed three Bs for my course.
“I’m pretty happy now and all of my friends have done well too. One of my friends thought she hadn’t got into her chosen university, but we’ve just found out she has so it makes it all the better. It would have been rubbish if any of them hadn’t got their places and I had. I think I want to do law in the future.”
Katie Leitch, also from Morpeth, will fulfil her dream of studying medicine after securing an A* in biology and A grades in chemistry and economics.
“It has been unreal,” she said.
“It was make or break, but it has been the best day ever. I needed three As so I’ve done a little bit better, but I was really nervous opening the envelope because I wasn’t sure how I had done.”