EMOTIONS ran high at South Downs College for A-level results day as it celebrated a record number of students heading to university.
The college in Waterlooville, achieved a 97.1 per cent A-level pass rate, with 45 per cent of students achieving A*-B, a three per cent decrease from 2015.
Despite the slight drop, university applications by students rose by more than 100 this year, including those to Oxford and Cambridge.
Among the high-flyers was Megan Griffiths from Portsmouth who scored two A*s and two As to earn a place at Oxford. She said: ‘I feel great, but I was shaking when I opened them.’
Another student picking up their results was Lucie Brooks, from Cowplain. The 18-year-old was thrilled to get two A*s in law and the extended project and two As in history and English language.
She said: ‘I’m overwhelmed by my results, I never expected this at all, I doubted myself, to be honest, but I’m so glad all the hard work paid off.’
Lucie will now study law at the University of Warwick.
Also collecting a set of impressive results was Anton Sukhorukov from Waterlooville. He got an A* in computing, A in maths and star distinction in Btec music technology, despite being a year younger than other students.
The 17-year-old said: ‘I skipped a year at school, so I’m a year younger than everyone else, but I’ve managed to pick this up and I’m chuffed. It’s like a weight’s been lifted off my chest, it’s fantastic.’
He will go on to study computer science at Bristol.
Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville saw its sixth form students achieve 99.4 per cent of grades at A*-E at A-level, the same as last year. They also got 42 per cent at A*-B, a six per cent drop from last year.
Headteacher Matthew Quinn said: ‘The results achieved by students were absolutely brilliant. They are a credit to their hard work and that of our very talented and committed teachers.’
Many students achieved two or more A*s or As, including Peter Williams who scored an A* in law and two As in politics and economics, and Dan Homer-Ward who achieved an A* in maths and two As in chemistry and biology.
Peter, 18, from Waterlooville, will study economics and finance at Exeter. He said: ‘I’m really happy with my results but I still can’t believe it. I worked really hard and I’m looking forward to going to university.’
Dan, 18, from Horndean, said: ‘I’m so happy. I was hoping for three As because I needed that to get into university but the A* was really unexpected.’
He will now study biochemistry at the University of Bath.
National hurdler Devon Brimecome, from Paulsgrove, was delighted to achieve two As and a C.
The 18-year-old juggled her studies with training five times a week as well as having a part time job.
She said: ‘I’m overjoyed as I didn’t think I would get these grades. Sometimes I found it hard to manage everything, but I’m a very driven person which stems from athletics so that spurred me on.’
Devon will now study a teaching degree at Winchester.
Havant Sixth Form College said about 500 students achieved A* and A grades. The college received a 98.3 per cent A-level pass rate, a less than one per cent drop from last year, with 49 per cent achieving A*-B, the same as 2015.
Shenzhen Newman, 18, from Waterlooville, is awaiting confirmation of a place at Cambridge University with three A*s in maths, further maths and physics.
He said: ‘Cambridge is one of the best and I’m at the top of the pool, so hopefully I’ll make it in.’
Samuel Burrows, 18, from Portchester, celebrated getting an A* in business, including full marks on one of his tests. He looks forward to starting a project control apprenticeship with technology developers BAE Systems.
Mike Gaston is the interim principal at South Downs College and Havant Sixth Form College since it merged in August.
He said: ‘This is another successful year of A-level and vocational results here at South Downs College and Havant Sixth Form, reflecting the extraordinary hard work and commitment of another year of students, and the staff who have taught and supported them.’