Hard work pays off for thousands of Cumbrian students


The moment has finally come, where thousands of Cumbrian students learn if their hard work paid off.

While many teenagers are heading online to find out their results, a lot are still following the traditional method of heading in to their school or college to pick up the envelope.

At Trinity School in Carlisle there were smiles all round.

A statement from the school said: "The hard work of our students and of our staff is reflected in the results achieved this year.

"We are very proud indeed of our students’ achievements, particularly in light of the many changes to A Level courses and examinations.

"We are particularly pleased that so many students achieved all A*/A grades this year. We are proud of all of our students; their excellent results are very well deserved."

Ellie Parsons, 18, of Lowry Hill, achieved three As in English Literature, Media Studies and Extended Project, and a C in history.

She said: "I'm just so happy. I don't think you ever expect it from yourself. I was hoping but I wasn't cocky or anything.

"It makes all the work worthwhile."

There was success across the board, with teenagers celebrating at all of our secondary schools, and William Howard School, in Brampton, was no exception.

Student Beth Slater is heading to Lancaster to study physics with particle physics and cosmology.

The 18-year-old, of Roweltown, near Brampton, was the only students to complete an A level in further maths at the school.

She said: "I'm kind of gobsmacked. I'm so happy. I was really doubting myself, especially this last week."

Beth gained two A*s in maths and physics, an A in further maths and a B in chemistry.

Beth Burrus, 18, of Brampton, gained 3 As in biology, chemistry and maths and has her sights set on studying medicine at Newcastle University. "I was targeted them and I needed them for uni but I was nervous I wouldn't get them. I'm relieved and really happy."

Alongside some notable individual successes, Richard Rose Sixth Form, in Carlisle, saw an increase in the proportion of the top grades with a third of results awarded A* to B.

Amongst those taking up places at University, Ben Carrick will be going to study Maths at Newcastle University, Carl Graham will be studying Computer Science with Games Development at Northumbria University; and Natalie Hill and Sarah Osborne will be going to study Applied Psychology at the University of Cumbria.

Sarah, 18, of Caldewgate, Carlisle, gained A grades in her both AS and A-level Law in the same year.

She had to resit her first year but managed to come out on top.

Sararah also bagged herself a B in Psychology and a D in Extended Project.

"I'm very happy," she said. "It was hard work but it was worth it.

"It was quite a lot doing both, but putting the work in was worth while to get that."

Sarah is going on to study psychology at the University of Cumbria.

 Comparing results

Comparing results

Stephen Gilby, principal of Central Academy, which hosts Richard Rose Sixth Form said: “I’d like to congratulate each of our students on their hard work and for these well-deserved results which will open the doors to universities, professions and their chosen careers.

"There have been some notable individual successes which are testament to everyone’s hard work and determination to succeed.

“This is now a thriving, successful sixth form that has recently been recognised as Good by Ofsted.

"Much of this is down to the professionalism, encouragement and support shown by our staff and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for the significant contribution they make to our students’ success.”

Staff at Netherhall School in Maryport are overjoyed at this year's results.

The school, which is in special measures, saw a rise in results across the board, with 100 per cent receiving A* to E grades.

The school saw its A*-A pass rate rise from 30 per cent last year to 46 per cent this year.

A*-B grades went from 50 per cent to 66 per cent.

A* to C grades went from 75 per cent to 86 per cent.

Head of sixth form, Mark Bailey, said: "We will have students going all over the country to study the courses they want based on their results."

He paid tribute to staff saying their dedication to the students and the hard work of all concerned had led to these results.

Chairman of governors Jan Clarke said: "We are delighted. For a school in special measures to have this kind of increase shows the work of the staff and students."

Among those getting their results was Jack Hewitson, 18, of Netherton.

He said he had done better than he expected, gaining an A in history and Bs in English language and RE.

He is heading to the University of Cumbria to student English literature.

Adam Southward, 18, of King Street, Maryport, secured a place at University of Central Lancashire to study pure maths by gaining As in maths and physics and a B in chemistry.

Darcy Towers, 18, from Ellenborough, received a distinction* in health and social care, an A in RE and a C in history.

"I could really have done with a B in history, but I think I will be okay."

She wants to study business management and marketing at the Newcastle University next month.

Seventeen pupils at Cockermouth School gained all A* and A grades with some gaining full marks in the majority of their papers.

Headteacher Rob Petrie said: "The continued hard work of the students and the inspirational teaching of our colleagues has been rewarded with the performance of our students.

"The 2017 results underline a seven-year commitment to studying in our hardworking school."

 Luke Ely

Luke Ely

Luke Ely, 18, of Strawberry How, got A*s in maths, further maths and physics. He will study computer science at Imperial College in London.

He said: "I feel really happy. I wasn't expecting these results so I'm very surprised."

Jonathan Wynne, 18, of High Lorton, got A*s in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry. He is heading to Cambridge University to study natural science.

He said: "I was hoping for four A*s, I don't know about expecting. I feel really pleased and I'm glad I met my uni offer."

Beth Middleton, 18, of Greysouthen, got two A*s in geography and art and design, and an A in English language.

She said: "I'm over the moon. I can't believe it. I was waiting in the car park for the doors to open to get my results.

"I'm really excited to go to Lancaster University to study geography in September."

Elouise Lawler, 18, of Cockermouth, got an A* in biology, As in geography and maths. She said: "I'm happy. They were my predicted grades but I still didn't expect it."

She is going to Bristol University to study geography.

Matthew Proctor, 18, of Tallentire, is going to study history at University College Oxford after gaining an A* in psychology and As in history and English literature.

He said: "I feel pretty chuffed. I was expecting a bit of a disappointment but those grades have met my university offer."

Sam Cooke, 18, of Gable Avenue, Cockermouth, got A* in physics and As in maths and further maths.

He said: "I'm very happy and very surprised. I was expecting A, B, B so I'm happy with my results."

He's going to Heriot Watt University to study physics and maths.

Archie Milton, 18, of Brigham, got A*s in physics and maths and an A in further maths and is heading to Lancaster University to study physics.

He said: "I'm pretty chuffed. It's better than expected."

The overwhelming majority of Caldew School’s students will be able to attend their first choice university, and will study courses including sciences, languages, engineering, computing and the arts at some of the country’s top universities.

Standout results include Andrew Tyson with one A* and two As who will be going to Lancaster university to study Mechanical Engineering; Orla Giles with three As who will be going to the University of Sheffield to study Biomedical Sciences; Katrina Ellams with three As who will be pursuing a course in Veterinary Science; Josh Richardson with three As who will be studying Computer Science at Nottingham University.

Headteacher Vicki Jackson said: “Our students deserve congratulating on achieving excellent results again this year.

"They have worked tirelessly over the last two years, leading to results that exemplify their determination to fulfil their aspirations.

"Overall the results have maintained our strong record at A-level with improvements in many areas.

"I wish each and every one of our students well as they move on to the next stage of their careers and look forward to hearing about their continued success.

"I would also like to thank all the teachers at Caldew School for their hard work and commitment that has helped our students be successful.”

Nelson Thomlinson School

in Wigton boasted a number of successes - including two students to Oxford.

Stefan Clarke achieved four A* grades to secure a place at St John's College, Oxford, while Adam Ferguson got three A*s and an A and has been accepted at Keble College, Oxford.

Another notable success was Daniel Edgar, who achieved four A*s.

Adam, 18, of Glasson, said: "I felt I should have done more work, but what I did obviously paid off.

"I doubted myself overnight - it was quite a sleepless one. I was prepared with all the clearing options for all the other universities I could get into.

"I'm so pleased."

Headmaster Sam Northwood said: “We are delighted with our results and our students have achieved some excellent grades once again.

"Early indications are that the vast majority of our students have been successful in securing their offers for university, apprenticeships or work-related training, as is the case every year at NTS."

Ullswater Community College in Penrith said the percentage of students who sat A levels and achieved two or more pass grades again was 98 per cent, and the proportion of A*/A grades is 17 per cent with 70 per cent achieving A* to C grades.

Headteacher Nick Ellery said: “This year’s A-level results once again have held up very well for students at UCC.

"This is the culmination of the tremendous commitment and hard work from the students and teachers over the last two years during a period of course and examination reform.

"We are so proud of our students who have achieved such fantastic results."

Twelve students achieved A*/A grades in two or more subjects or their equivalent at Level 3 study, including Alice Addison with two As and a C; Rebecca Crisp with two A*s and a B; Sam Hall and Adam Hill both got two Distinction*s and a Distinction; Megan Hogg with three As; and Tori Whittam with three A*s.

Keswick School head boy Jamie Suddaby achieved an impressive three A* grades with a 100 per cent score in A-level Maths and will be moving on to take a degree in Biochemistry at the University

 Bethan Savage and Jamie Suddaby

Bethan Savage and Jamie Suddaby

of Leeds.

Head girl Bethan Savage achieved four A* grades and an A grade and will be moving on to Brasenose College, Oxford University, to read Law with German Law.

About three-quarters of Keswick’s students have secured their first choice university place with the remainder moving on to apprenticeships or other qualifications.

Headteacher Simon Jackson said: “The continued hard work of the students and the inspirational teaching of our colleagues has been rewarded with these A-level results."

Bethan said: “Keswick School has shaped me into the person I am. I’ll always be thankful for that and will definitely come back to visit in the future.”

Among the successes at

Carlisle's Newman School

was David Manchester, who achieved two A* grades and three As and is heading off to Durham University to study history.

Fellow student Kathryn Dent, who is going to Lancaster University to study biomedical sciences, achieved A*, A, and two Bs.

Joe Armstrong is off to Loughborough University to study automotive engineering. He achieved two A* grades and to A grades.

John McAuley, headteacher, said: “We are truly delighted with this year’s A level results. It was fantastic to see all the happy faces as the students opened their results. All of our Year 13 students will be heading off to university, college or employment with some excellent grades.

“There are some first-rate individual results, with A* and A grades, and also high performance in specific subjects.

"We cannot go into every success story in detail but we are absolutely thrilled with the success of all of our Year 13s. There is a lot of pressure on young people to do well, and I am impressed by our students’ determination to achieve their goals.”

At Whitehaven Academy 100 per cent of pupils gained A* to G grades for the first time since the school became an academy.

The school said the results were 16 per cent up on last year and put the success down to changes made this year under the Bright Tribe Trust and the leadership of principal Warren Turner.

The school's grades were higher than the national average in some subjects, with the number of A* to B grades in maths up by 50 per cent.

Mr Turner said: "We are delighted to see results at Whitehaven Academy improve by such a significant percentage.

"For the first time in the history of the academy we have a 100 per cent pass rate at A level, with outstanding results in business studies and mathematics, where all students achieved A* to B grades, putting Whitehaven amongst the best schools in the north west for mathematics.

"This year's A level students have worked incredibly hard and we are immensely proud of all their individual achievements. Congratulations to everyone and the best of luck for the future."

Hannah Thurogood, 18, of Whitehaven, got an A in applied business and an A and B in double health and social care. She is preparing for a project control apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty.

She said: "I was excited to get my results and I was pleased that I got what I wanted. I want to do my apprenticeship and then do a degree through the company."

Melissa Palmer, 18, of The Highlands, Whitehaven, got an A in applied art and a B in psychology and will stay at the academy for another year to do a fine art A level.

She said: "I'm elated. I did better than I thought I would, although I worked really hard for art."

Owen Beech, 18, of Hillcrest, Whitehaven, is going to study medical neuroscience at the University of Sussex after getting an A in maths, B in biology and C in chemistry.

He said: "It felt good. I'm a bit tired. My mam phoned me to get me up early. I was nervous but I was trying not to think about it."

There was no time for celebration for Owen, who had to head to work until midnight after picking up his results.

At St Benedict's School in Whitehaven, Eloise Marsland, 18, who lives in the town, gained A*s in maths, further maths, chemistry and biology.

She said: "I'm so chuffed, I really can't believe it."

She will be going to the University of Sheffield to study medicine and said she was really excited. She will be celebrating her results with friends.

Shirley Tan, 18, of Whitehaven, gained an A in philosophy and ethics, and Bs in product design and English language.

She said: "All the stress and revision was worth it."

Shirley was excited to be going on to study law at Newcastle University.

Maisie Diamond-Smith gained a B in health and social care and Cs in history and sociology. She was really pleased with her results and is looking to join the police.

Robbie Arins, 18, of Whitehaven, gained three As in German, maths and chemistry and an A in AS level biology.

He said: "I'm pleased with the results. I got what I needed to go to study maths at Lancaster University.

"I'm excited about going to university and looking forward to it."

His proud dad Aigars is a subject leader for modern languages at the school. He said: "He has worked hard for so long in the run-up to the exams. I think this is well-deserved."

Matthew Wishart, 17, of Whitehaven, gained an A in English language and Bs in history and chemistry.

The teenager, who will celebrate his 18th birthday on Saturday, is looking forward to studying law at Durham University.

Students at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith have once again achieved impressive results at A-level in 2017. The pass rate was more than 98 per cent with well over half of all grades achieved being between A* and B.

There were numerous exceptional individual performances, including Connor Mattinson with A* grades in all subjects and Will Melling, Connie Hurton and Deborah McConkey with two A* and two A grades.

There were dozens of others who also achieved outstanding results, with many A*/A grades.

More than a fifth of students achieved at least one A*. As a consequence of the excellent results, almost every QEGs student will be taking up a place at their first choice university, with many attending Russell Group destinations. All of the students with Oxbridge offers have been successful.

Headteacher Mr Buckland said: "The students here at QEGS have once again produced an outstanding set of results reflecting their hard work and commitment over the last two years.

"These outcomes have meant that there have been a lot of very happy faces this morning and our students have been able to move on to the next stage of their education or into employment with confidence and excellent foundations."

At Workington Academy , Gemma Snodden, 18, who lives in the town, got As in maths and further maths and a B in business studies. She will study maths at Lancaster University.

She said: "I had to work hard but I'm happy with my results, especially with further maths.

"I don't really know what I want to do in the future but I wanted to do maths at uni because I like the subject and I'm looking forward to starting."

Holly Harkness, 17, of Workington, got an A in English literature and Bs in drama and history.

She said: "It's been a hard year but it's paid off. I'm really happy with my English literature result because I didn't think I was going to get an A."

Holly, who is also a member of Workington Amateur Operatic Sociaty, will be celebrating her 18th birthday at the weekend by visiting King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester, seeing a reenactment of the Battle Of Bosworth Field and watching a Shakespeare production in Stratford.

Charlotte Nicholson, 18, of Workington, got a A* in art and Bs in English language and business studies.

Charlotte, who will study printed textiles and surface design at Leeds School Of Art, said: "Art is what I enjoyed doing during sixth form. It's been hard this year but it's all worth it when you get your results back."

At the Energy Coast UTC , students picked up A level results and Btec level three vocational qualifications, which are equivalent to A levels.

The college's engineering results were in the top 10 per cent in the country last year and staff said this year's results were even better, with every student who studied triple engineering achieving a triple distinction*.

Principal Cherry Tingle said: "I would like to thank all our staff for their excellent teaching and support of our students, our students for all their hard work, and employer partners and parents for their commitment.

"Working together we have secured the next step in an exciting future for every one of our young people."

Rebecca Telford, 19, of Whitehaven, gained a triple distinction* in engineering. She said: "It's what I wanted."

She said she could not wait to start an electrical and instrumentation apprenticeship with Sellafield next month.

Josh Donald, 18, of Aspatria, gained a triple distinction* in engineering, a distinction* in business, a C in science and a D in maths.

He is set to complete a degree apprenticeship at the National Nuclear Laboratory with a view to working in nuclear design. He said: "I feel like all the hard work has paid off."

 Stephen Gascoigne

Stephen Gascoigne

Stephen Gascoigne, 18, of Cockermouth, gained a triple distinction* in engineering and a distinction* in business, an A in maths and a C in physics; the equivalent of six high-grade A-levels.

He was excited to start a degree apprenticeship in control systems through Gen2 with Sellafield.

He said: "It's amazing, I wasn't expecting them. "When I was getting towards my exams I was in my room every night grafting away. "It was worth it."

A number of schools across the county chose not to release their overall results today, following changes to the qualifications.

A joint statement, release by schools including Cockermouth School, Keswick School and Workington Academy, said: "The continued hard work of the students and the inspirational teaching of our colleagues has been rewarded with these A level results.

"They underline the seven-year commitment to study. There are many changes to A level course content. We are making sure that individually and collectively schools in Cumbria are able to share accurate information with the media and the public who are as keen as we are to celebrate the successes of our students and to congratulate our school staff.

"As always there are a number of queries over re-marks and grade boundaries and so, once the official DfE September checking exercise has been completed we will issue our headline data. For now, it is essential we focus on success of each of our individual the students."

Outstanding individual achievements at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School include Ben Andrew who achieved Chemistry A, Maths A, Physics A; Bethany Capstick got Geography A*, History A*, Sociology A*, General Studies B; David Seed got Chemistry A*, Maths A, Physics A; Tilly Thornborrow managed Fine Art A*, Sociology A, History B.

In addition, a number of our students have secured very competitive employment opportunities including Sarah Oakley who has been chosen from thousands of applicants for a business apprenticeship at Glaxo Smith Kline.

Headteacher Ruth Houston said: “I am delighted with the results achieved by our sixth form students and the opportunities that are now opened up for them.

"KSGS has an excellent Sixth Form and this has again been highlighted by the direction our students are now taking in the next chapter of their lives.

"The results gained are a credit to their hard work and also the hard work and commitment of their teachers.”

Pupils at Austin Friars in Carlisle have recorded an overall pass rate of 98 per cent with more than 62 per cent of these grades in the top A*, A and B categories.

 Twins Rachel and Lily Bell Macdonald

Twins Rachel and Lily Bell Macdonald

Headmaster Matt Harris said: “I am delighted that this year’s pupils have achieved some excellent A level results, even improving on the very pleasing results last year. Over 13% of grades were at A* covering 11 different subject areas reflecting our pupils’ outstanding achievements across the board.

"The 2017 A-level results have again ensured that the vast majority of our pupils will be taking up a place at their preferred university. I would like to congratulate all our pupils on their hard work to achieve this success.”

Top-scoring pupils are: Rachel Bell Macdonald (2A*, A); Angus Irving (2A*, A); Isabel Leitch (2A*, A); Lily Bell Macdonald (A*, 2A); Sophie Kenmare (A*, 2A); Heidi Rennie (A*, 2A), and; Helen Tu (A*, 2A).

*How did you do? Send us your celebration pictures to news.carlisle@cnmedia.co.uk

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