Students from across the city were leaping with joy following another tremendous year of A-level results.
The long summer wait was finally over as hundreds of brown envelopes were torn open to reveal the future of Portsmouth’s students.
Across the city, schools and colleges recorded strong results with more than half of students at St John’s College, Southsea, scoring A* to B, and over 20 per cent of all grades at Portsmouth High School were A*s.
Portsmouth Grammar School also saw winning results with over 90 per cent of pupils achieving their first choice university.
Nationally, the overall A* to E pass rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 97.9 per cent.
One of the star performers at the high school was Maleha Khan, 18, who scored an A and two Bs to secure her place at the University of Southampton to study aeronautical engineering.
It just does not seem real. You wait all summer for this and to know that I’ve got what I want has just really blown me away.Mason Strickland, 18, who is off to the University of Surrey
It is her dream to join the RAF.
She said: ‘I am so excited. I have been with the RAF cadets for the past three years and am now a sergeant.
‘My squadron is in Hedge End so I can combine staying on with the cadets in addition to my degree. I have always wanted to broaden my horizons and I hope that this degree will do just that.’
The school also saw the huge success of twins Hannah and Eleanor Burford, 18, with the girls scoring six A*/As between them.
Both have enjoyed academic success at the school after scooping 16 A*s between them at GCSE level.
Eleanor said: ‘The friends I’ve made here will last a lifetime. I am very excited about university but will miss Hannah!’
Modern languages also performed well with all students taking a language gaining an A* to B.
Headmistress Jane Prescott said: ‘I am delighted for the girls with this wonderful set of results. Today is such a pivotal moment in their education and comes after years of hard work and determination.’
At Portsmouth College, the school was also jumping for joy as it improved its A* to B pass rate by five per cent to 47 and a student from all but one of the city’s secondary schools who went to the college got into a Russell Group university.
Liam King, 18, from Cosham, was left ecstatic after scooping an A* in economics and two As in maths and further maths.
He said: ‘After not getting a minute’s sleep last night, this really was such a fantastic moment to know I’m going to university. I just feel so elated.’
Liam is off to the University of Southampton to study economics.
He added: ‘Economics is always something I have been drawn to so I really cannot wait to get started. I’m looking forward to the freedom that university provides.’
Joining him at Southampton is Jasmine Moore, 20, from Hilsea who received an unexpected text from the university confirming her place earlier in the morning.
She said: ‘I was just so shocked. I could not believe it and I was overcome with emotion.’
Jasmine got an A in psychology and two Bs in biology and sociology, securing her place to study biomedical sciences.
She added: ‘I was drawn to the university by the atmosphere and student life so I really cannot wait to get started.’
Mason Stickland’s brown envelope proved too good to be true for the 18-year-old who could not stop smiling after securing his place at the University of Surrey to do performing arts.
He said: ‘It just does not seem real. You wait all summer for this and to know that I’ve got what I want has just really blown me away.
‘I have heard such amazing things about the university so I am super excited.’
The teenager bagged the place following two distinction stars in performing arts and a C in drama and theatre studies.
Sam Fowler was also lost for words after securing his place at the University of Portsmouth to study architecture.
The 18-year-old from Southsea, who scored two As and a C, was drawn to the city’s education establishment due to its growing reputation in the field and its stunning new school of architecture.
He said: ‘It is a long course at seven years but it will be perfect for what I want to do and it allows me to stay at home for a few years.
‘The idea of university is a bit daunting right now but for me it is another big milestone accomplished.’
Steve Frampton, the college’s principal, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled with how we have done this morning and I am so proud of our students and the staff.
‘We are particularly proud that we’ve got students from all but one of the city’s secondary schools into a Russell Group university which promises big things for the city’s future.’
Over 52 per cent of all grades at Portsmouth Grammar School were either A* or A grades, almost double the national average of 26.3 per cent which was the first time it had risen since 2011.
A total of 12 students received an Oxbridge place.
Star pupil Florence Willcocks is off to the University of Cambridge following her straight A* grades in chemistry, maths, further maths and physics.
She was able to juggle her studies while also starring as the dance captain in the school production of Crazy for You at the Kings Theatre.
Florence will study engineering at Magdalene College and said: ‘I am thrilled. I was determined to show the maths department that I had the time to take part in the school musical and study too!’
A total of 18 per cent of all grades at the school were A*s, although its A* to B score was down two per cent to 79.
Georgia Palmer Goddard, 18, head girl at St John’s College, achieved her place at Bath to study sport and social sciences after scoring an A* and two Bs.
She said: ‘I had been doubting myself but when I saw the words “congratulations” my heart jumped!’
At Highbury College, Louie Morris achieved his dream of going to study documentary photography at Plymouth University.
The 18-year-old, from Fareham, secured his place down on the south coast after securing an A, C and D.
He said: ‘I just can’t believe it. I am so, so happy as it has been my dream to study photography and I love that part of the country.
‘I was sold on the course and really just cannot wait to get started.’