NERVOUS students across Rotherham were opening the all-important brown envelope containing their A-level results today.
With a record number of young people applying to university and a shortage of places this year, it was more important than ever for students to get their grades and secure a spot.
In Rotherham, big success stories were recorded at Swinton and Dinnington sixth forms. Swinton’s results were up by 6.2 per cent with 99.5 per cent pass rate–the school’s best results to date. Dinnington’s pass rate rose by 4.7 per cent.
For the first time, students had the chance of attaining an A*–a grade introduced to help universities distinguish between the good and the excellent. The grade will be given to students who get an A grade in their A-level overall and an average of 90 per cent or more in the A2 exams at the end of the final year.
David Pridding, head teacher at Swinton Community School said: “We are very pleased with the A level results.
“Several of our students achieved the new A* grade designed to pinpoint the highest achievers nationally. One student attained an A* in three subjects.
“We have all heard on the national news how competitive it is this year to secure a university place and Swinton students have shown that they can compete with the best in the country.
“Many students from our school will be moving on to university this Autumn including such prestigious institutions as Cambridge, Nottingham, York, Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our students on their success and acknowledge the support they have had from their families and school staff.”
Elsewhere, Aston saw its pass rate increase by 1 per cent to 98.6 per cent, Brinsworth’s rate was up by 0.9 per cent to 98.8 per cent and Wath saw an increase of 0.8 per cent to 97.6 per cent.
Students celebrate. Picture slideshow.
SMILING faces were the order of the day at Wales High School as pupils found out their A-level results.
Among them was Helen Johnson, who achieved two grade A*s and an A and will go on to study medicine at Newcastle.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it—I kept looking at my results!”
“I’m a bit nervous about university, but it will be exciting to leave home.”
Head teacher John Day said that he was proud of all the pupils, adding: “Statistically, it’s abundantly clear that the 2010 results are the best ever in the school’s history.
“We regarded the 2009 results as outstanding, but in each of the three headlines of top grades, A* to C and overall pass rates, this year’s results are an improvement in each of these categories.”
And he said: “On a morning like this, the achievement is owned by our students, their endeavour has been consistent and earnest throughout the year, but as always the professionalism and dedication of the teaching staff can’t be overlooked.
“In terms of the new A* award, we have 29 grades at this level.
“And regarding university entry, early indications lead us to believe that there are only one or two students who have yet to secure their place, which is pleasingly so inconsistent with the national picture.
“We are very, very pleased.”
And smiles were also abounding at Dinnington Comprehensive School, where 18--year-old Jonathan Shield found that his three A grades in history, English language and English literature were more than enough to secure him his place at Sheffield University to read English literature.
Head teacher Paul Blackwell said: “The results are significantly up on last year, with 42 per cent of students achieving grades A* to B, which is double last year’s figure.
“The overall pass rate was 96 per cent with 15 A* grades as well as 38 A grades and 54 Bs.
“The year group has done really, really well—these are certainly the best A-level results during the three years I’ve been here.
“The overwhelming majority have already got university places confirmed, there are just a handful working today to get places elsewhere.”
For a list of individual schools' results, see tomorrow's Advertiser.