Students and teachers across the county are celebrating after achieving some of their best ever GCSE results.

Headteachers in Cumbria were all smiles yesterday as they found out the GSCE results their students had achieved.

Today the 5,000-plus students are finding out their grades for themselves and for many of them, it's looking good.

Cumbria County Council leaders are particularly proud that the percentage of children who are in care and have achieved at least five good GCSEs including English and maths with grades A*-C is up. It is the best figure in three years.

Cumbria's director of children's services, John Macilwraith, is also delighted at the emerging county-side picture.

He said: "It is positive news, against a backdrop of further examination changes, that Cumbria’s schools overall are increasing the percentage of students gaining five or more passes at grades A*-C including English and Mathematics, an improvement from last year.

"We hope that all students progressing into further education, employment and training have obtained the results they need to do so."

The Richard Rose academies - two of four city secondary schools disrupted by the floods last December - are celebrating their best-ever GCSE results.

Trinity School and Newman School are also celebrating students' success just months after Storm Desmond threw exam preparations into disarray.

Richard Rose Central, Trinity and Newman were plunged under several feet of floodwater while Morton Academy on Wigton Road became a reception centre for those flooded out of their homes and a drop-off point for donations in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

Newman School relocated to Harraby and flood recovery work continues at Richard Rose Central and Trinity almost nine months on.

The flooded schools also asked exam boards for special consideration to be given to students in light of the devastation.

Despite the distress and disruption, Richard Rose Central Academy has seen 48 per cent of its year 11 pupils gain five or more A*-C grades including English and maths.

With United Learning as its sponsor, it is also the first time that the academy has seen year on year improvement.

Many staff at Central Academy whose own homes and families were affected during Storm Desmond worked through the night and at weekends to ensure the school was able to function with minimal disruption.

Stephen Gilby, the academy's proud associate principal, said: "Our students were determined that the floods would not stop them from working towards their exams.

"They worked hard as a group, despite many of them facing significant challenges at home during the floods and the aftermath.

"These results come alongside our strongest ever A-level results last week."

He added that his staff's commitment had been "unrelenting".

Derek Davies, executive principal of the two academies, added: "There is, of course, still a long way to go and we will not be satisfied until every single student is achieving a strong set of GCSEs.

"However, the grit and determination shown by the students at Central during the winter in particular demonstrates how far the schools have come over the past two years."

At Trinity School, 242 16-year-olds picked up results.

Co-headteacher Sheila Johnston said: "We're still working out all our figures but we're very pleased in light of what has happened this year. "A quarter of all the grades we've given out have been A or A* and there are 14 students who have got straight A* and A grades."

Among those celebrating were Nell Attwood and Megan Cowen, who are both 16 and live in Stanwix, Carlisle.

Nell achieved five A*s, including one in her favourite subject of French, five A grades and a B. She will now go on to do A-levels in French, drama, English literature and history.

She said: "We missed out on our mocks in December because of the floods and so I didn't feel as secure going into my exams.

"They were rescheduled and we did them in March but it was disruption."

Megan is also heading into sixth form to do A-levels after getting seven A*s, two As and a B.

She said: "I didn't think I'd done at all well in the exams.

"I got really panicky before each one and convinced myself I'd not done well at all."

Headteacher John McAuley and staff at Newman School are also pleased. He said: "There are some outstanding individual performances, with a number of our year 11 students achieving high grades in all subjects. "The students can be proud of their achievements."

At Wigton Road, Richard Rose Morton Academy is celebrating its best ever GSCE results - 51 per cent of students gained at least five A* to C grades, including in English and maths.

Headteacher Des Bird said: "We're really pleased with the results. It's the best results we've ever had and it's almost across the board.

"We have had improvements on virtually every measure you could think of."

Friends Mia Harkness and Bethany Rutherford were among the first pupils to pick up their results from Caldew School in Dalston this morning.

Mia, of Denton Holme, Carlisle, got seven GCSEs.

Mia, 16, said: “I am going to go into sixth form but I will not be able to take what I originally wanted to do because of my results. Some are not as good as I thought they would be.”

Bethany, 16, of Morton, Carlisle, achieved eight GCSE grades C and above.

She said: “I am really happy with my B in English language particularly. “I am going to do health and social care and science in sixth form because I hope to go into a medical profession eventually.”

At Austin Friars School, Etterby Scaur, 51 per cent of all grades given out to students was either an A* or A.

Headteacher Matt Harris said: "The school does not narrowly select on the basis of ability; therefore, we are especially delighted that our high achievers and pupils across our broad ability range have achieved such superb results, gaining an overall five A*–C pass rate of 92 per cent.

"These results compare favorably with the best results we have enjoyed since the A* grade was introduced in 1994."

He added: "It is disappointing that government league tables will not reflect our pupils’ success as the school takes a number of international GCSEs which are not included in these tables."

Its top-performing GCSE pupils with 11 or more A*/A grades are: Diana Abdolvand (8A*, 6A), Henry Doble (7A*, 4A), Sarah Hodgson (12A*, 1A), Cameron McGauchie (12A*, 1A), Camilla McKnespiey (11A*, 1A) and Tara Whitaker (5A*, 6A).

At Wigton's Nelson Thomlinson School, Sophie Connolly said she was over the moon with her results.

The 16-year-old achieved six A*s and two As - in English language and English literature - but was also awarded an 'A hat' for further maths.

The grade is described as an 'A* with distinction' and is only awarded to those who excel in further maths.

"I put a lot of hard work into studying and didn't really get much sleep so I'm really pleased," she said. "I was predicted these grades but there were some that I weren't sure about, like English."

Sophie, from Mawbray, has decided to stay at Nelson Thomlinson to complete her A-levels and will be studying maths, further maths, French and history.

"I'm not sure what I want to do after that, but I'll definitely be going to university," she said.

Her mum, Tracey added: "We saw how hard she worked and we're really proud of what she's achieved. We're going out for lunch to celebrate her success."

Meanwhile 16-year-old Katie Hague said she was surprised by her results, having achieved five A*s, three As and one B.

"I was surprised by how well I did in chemistry," she said. "I got an A* in that as well as English Literature, which I wasn't really expecting either."

She will be returning to the school next month to begin life in the sixth form and said that she was pleased her had work had paid off.

"I did a lot of studying, especially for the sciences," she said. "I'm coming back to do A-levels in Maths, Spanish, English literature and business studies - which I haven't done before."

Katie, from Maryport, is hoping to then go on to university.

She added: "Those subjects will be a good mix to study either accountancy or law, but I'm not sure what I want to do yet."

Sam Northwood, the school's headteacher, said: "We are delighted that 68 per cent of our year 11 pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths this year. It's our third-highest percentage since records began and our second highest in the last decade.

"Thirty-three per cen tof pupils gained a full English Baccalaureate and 23 per cent of all entries were A* or A."

Headteacher of Caldew School in Dalston, Chris McAree, congratulated all the students for leaving with at least five or more passes.

Thirteen achieved eight or more A* or A grades.

Mr McAree said: "We are especially pleased to see the high number of A* and A grades being achieved by our students with 13 students having achieved 8 or more of these higher grades; nearly 40 per cent of the year group gaining one or more A* or A.

"This is alongside the fact that 31% of the cohort has achieved the EBacc suite of qualifications.

"The number of students achieving Maths and English remains strong and is again above the anticipated national average.

"As a comprehensive school we are proud to see that every student will leave with at least five or more passes and that on the new Progress 8 measure we are confident that we have achieved a very positive result."

Domenic Volpe, Head of School at William Howard School in Brampton, said: "There were some stunning results for individuals, with 12 students averaging an A or better across all of their GCSEs.

"Some 59 per cent achieved 5A*-C, with 70 per cent of all grades awarded at a C or higher.

"Students will now be able to move on and plan their futures with solid foundations."

Executive head Lorrayne Hughes added: "These results mark the culmination of another year of hard work and concentrated effort from students and staff. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all students well in the future."

At Keswick School 75 per cent of students achieved five or more A* to C grades including in English and maths.

Headteacher Simon Jackson couldn't stop smiling and said the results showed how exceptional Keswick students were.

He said: "We've matched last year's record breaking results which is really outstanding in a climate where these qualifications are getting harder and harder to achieve."

"These results are down to the outstanding efforts of our highly motivated and exceptionally talented students and staff.

"They reflect a happy and ambitious school community where effort and hard work is admired and aspired to."

Pupils have excelled in many academic areas, collecting grades A*-C in a range of subjects - English Language and English Literature 82 per cent and 85 per cent respectively; physics and biology both achieved 90 per cent; chemistry - 86 per cent; maths and additional maths achieved 82 per cent and 95 per cent respectively.

In other EBacc (English Baccalaureate) subjects students achieved 86 per cent A*-C in German (with 43 per cent of all grades awarded being at A*-A), 85 per cent A*-C in history achieved and 83 per cent A*-C in geography.

Half of all grades to music students were A* or A.

Keswick School's top performing student achieved 12 A*-A grades with another student achieving 10A* grades and an A grade.

Nineteen others have achieved eight or more A* and A grades.

Arran Horne, 16, from Hesket Newmarket, achieved A*s in German, maths, biology, chemistry, physics and music and an A in English literature, further maths, geography, English language and religious studies.

He said: "I'm really pleased, it's a bit of a surprise. I'm staying on to do A-levels in Keswick but I haven't decided what I'm studying yet. It's going to be a lot of work but I'm looking forward to it.

While Ruth Jennings, 16, was delighted with her three A*s in German, maths and physics, As in religious studies, art and design, biology, chemistry and design and technology, two Bs in English literature and geography and a C in English language.

Ruth, from Kirkland near Ennerdale, will enter the sixth form to study maths, further maths, physics and art.

"I'm pretty happy," she said. "Some of my results are better than I had expected."

And Samuel Hignett, 16, from Gilcrux, was celebrating after he got seven A*s in biology, chemistry, physics, English langauge, English literature, history and religious studies.

He also achieved two As in French and maths and a C in drama.

"I didn't expect it whatsoever, I thought I had done so much worse," he said. "I feel pure happiness, I'm just really, really happy."

"I'm going to sixth form now to study English literature, religious studies, history and government and politics. This is such a boost now."

Frizington's Eleanor Saville, 16, achieved seven A*s and six As and will stay on at the sixth form to study biology, chemistry, physics and maths.

Her A*s were in German, maths, chemistry, physics, English language, English literature and Latin while her As came in drama, further maths, history, biology and religious studies.

She said: "I sort of expected to do well but I didn't expect it to be so good. I'm so, so pleased. I'm looking forward to starting sixth form now after having two months off."

Other top performers included Tom Hind, from Keswick, who achieved 10 A* grades and one A grade and Matthew Andrews, of Workington, who finished with eight A*.

Keswick's Finley Sleath recorded seven A*s, Anna Shenton, from Workington, got six and Robert Fryer-Spedding, of Keswick, managed 10 A* to A grades.

Hattie Gomme, from Whitehaven, and Jack McCarthy, from Wigton, also got 10 A* to A grades.

Headteacher Nigel Pattinson is delighted to see his students at Ullswater Community College (UCC) celebrating excellent results in a year which there has been concern expressed about reforms to GCSEs, the quality of marking, further restrictions on examination tariffs and the fall in the proportion of top grades awarded.

The pass rate for all subject entries at UCC was 98.3 per cent, 26 per cent of which were at A*-B grades.

Other highlights are:

  • Two thirds - 66 per cent - of year 11 students achieved good pass results in the basics of mathematics and English with progress in both subjects well above the national average
  • 29 per cent of students achieved one or more A*/A grade
  • 60.2 per cent of pupils achieved the headline figure of gaining five or more A*-C grades including English and maths, a small improvement on last year’s overall result at UCC.

Nine students achieved A*/A grades in seven or more subjects: Megan Kendal 10A*: Maeve Austin 7A*, 4A; Helen Southernwood 5A*, 4A, 2B: Kitty Lund 5A*, 5A, 1B: Katy Snaith 5A*, 5A, 1B; Rebecca Frost 5A*, 3A, 3B; Joel Harris 2A*, 5A, 3B; Lucy Hoskins 1A*, 6A, 4B; Henry Jennings 1A*, 6A, 3B.

Mr Pattinson expects 160 to continue at the school and move into the sixth form.

He said: "Throughout the year students attended a huge number of extra classes at weekends and in the holidays to be able to achieve their ambitions and so I’m delighted that these outcomes have rewarded this effort."

Alan Davis, the school's chair of governors, said: "Following on from last week’s outstanding A-level results, this has been a most successful year for UCC students."

Neighbouring Queen Elizabeth Grammar School has seen 98 per cent of its 121 year 11 pupils achieve five or more good A*-C grades.

Outstanding individual performances include the 11 A* grades from Elfreda Baker, 10 A* grades from Joe Abernathy, Nikhil Choudhury,

Cameron McDonald and Jake Marshall with either 9 or 8 A* grades from Praharsh Babu, Sophie Bauer, Kerran Cotterell, Katie Feltham, Sarah Ludar-Smith and Anna Martin.

Headteacher Paul Buckland said: "This is a tremendous performance from the students. It is testament to their hard work and commitment. It is also confirmation of the dedication of the staff at QEGS who are always willing to put in that extra effort to support the students.

"I am particularly pleased with the performance under the new Progress 8 measure. Our score shows that QEGS students performed at half a grade higher per subject than would be expected based on their Key Stage 2 achievement. In other words, we have added significant value to our students’ outcomes."

Early indications are that this is a record breaking year for Appleby Grammar School's GCSE students.

Andrew Lund, headteacher, said: "The excellent results are a just reward for the commitment and hard work shown by our year 11 students supported by their teachers.

"It is particularly remarkable that these best ever GCSE results for Appleby Grammar School have been achieved by the students against a turbulent national background of examination reform.

"Our students have also had to contend with a number of challenges that have hit the Appleby community in the past twelve months including the winter floods. This makes their achievements even more commendable."

He added: "Our results this year include more top grades A and A* grades than ever before, and strong results and progress measures in English, Maths, Science and Modern Foreign languages all well above national averages.

"It is pleasing too that our boys have performed extremely well in English bucking a national trend of underperformance."

Staff at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School are delighted that students are enjoying another strong set of GCSE results.

Headteacher Ruth Houston was among the first to congratulate the teenagers.

She said: "Kirkby Stephen Grammar School is very proud of our students’ successes. It is a credit to their hard work and that of all their teachers. All of our Year 11 students will be returning to sixth form, going to college or have gained employment or apprenticeships.

"Great exam success, such as this year’s results, is a vital part of this process."

Mrs Houston gave mention to the successes of Megan Allen, Kayleigh Barnes, Jamie Carter, Rachel Lambert, Millie Smithson and George Tams who all achieved a selection of high grades.

The year 11 group at Beacon Hill Community School has set a new benchmkar for future year groups.

David Millne, headteacher, said: "This year’s results are a tribute to the incredible hard work and dedication of the students, staff, parents and governing body, and a testament to the school’s strength in delivering the highest standard of education.

"I am so proud of all of our students for what they have achieved; they thoroughly deserve these super results.

"Alongside the benchmark statistics – English and maths Progress rates likely to be above national average yet again - we are very proud of all the students in this year group who have made fantastic individual progress whilst at Beacon Hill Community School."
Danny Gee, deputy head, added: "We are delighted with these results achieved by our year 11 students.

"They worked so hard in preparation for their examinations and truly deserve these great results.

"I am very proud of them and their achievements. I am also very grateful to the staff for their dedication and commitment and to our families for their support.

"These results are a real credit to the students and demonstrate the strong sense of partnership at our school."

At Lillyhall's Energy Coast UTC, 52 per cent of students achieved five A*-C grades including maths and English.

Principal designate Cherry Tingle said the first set of results received were fantastic.

She said: "These results really are superb and a great base for students to start the next phase of their education journey. I look forward to working with these students and others who may wish to join us next year.

“This is the culmination of an enormous effort by staff and students to make West Cumbria's newest educational establishment also one of its most successful and visionary."

Mike Smith OBE, chief executive at Gen2 and chairman of governors at UTC said: "I am really pleased but not surprised that the hard work of staff and students and the great partnership of Gen2 and Lakes College has paid off and resulted in these fantastic results which will give students a passport to take their next steps towards good apprecticeships, further study or employment."

Charlie Minshaw, 16, of Moresby Parks Road, Whitehaven got 3A*s, 5As, 1B and a double distinction star (D*) in civil engineering.

He said: "I've done really well and I'm so pleased with myself, although I did get what I expected to get. I want to go into the construction industry so these are great results."

Ellie Owens, 16, of Stainburn Road, Stainburn, got 1A*, 5As, 1B, 1 distinction * and 1 distinction in engineering.

Ellie said “I've worked really hard for these results and I'm surprised by them, but I did hope I would get them – it's brilliant.

Next year Ellie will start an electrical apprenticeship at Gen2.

Max Sloan, 16, of Hillcrest, Whitehaven, has got 5A*s, an A** in further maths, 1B and a double distinction * (D*) in engineering.

Max said: “I'm absolutely chuffed and we're heading to Solfest now to celebrate."

For Tom Ryan, headteacher of St Joseph's School, it was his last GCSE results day before his retirement.

Fifty-six per cent of students achieved five A*-C grades.

Mr Ryan said: "It's a great feeling, I'm delighted everybody understands exams are getting harder to pass and you need more marks to get an A.

"It's tougher for kids so it's also tougher for parents and staff. When You get a set of results like that you feel delighted for them."

Twins Daniel and Adam Kirkbride, 16, of St Mungo's Close Dearham are pupils.

Daniel got 4A*s, 6As and 1B and Adam got 6A*s, 3As and 1B.

Daniel said: “I'm really pleased and so happy the grades met my expectations. I didn't think that I would get As and Bs in the sciences."

Adam said: "I'm extremely pleased I thought I'd get a B or C in geography it's amazing I'm speechless."

The duo will both study at Cockermouth School sixth form next term.

Jasmine Butterworth, 16, of Hensingham, got 3A*s, 7As.

She said: "I'm incredibly pleased, it's an incredible reward for the hard work and I'm thankful for the support of the teachers.”

She is going on to study at St Benedict's School in Whitehaven.

Nicole Wilson, 16, of Burrow Walks, Northside, got 2A*s, 6As and 2Bs. She said: “I'm very pleased at the results. I didn't think I would pass the sciences so I'm most proud of them."

She is going to do a business apprenticeship at Blue Shadow Marketing in Cockermouth.

Adult education students also collected their results today 81 per cent of students achieved A*-C grade in English, maths and science.

The first GCSE class of Workington Academy picked up their results and headteacher Jonathan Logan said: “We're building on the success of A-levels and there are some really positive stories.

"The students deserve all the credit for all their hard work that they have put in."

Sadie Barnes, 16, of Hawkshead Avenue, Workington, got 7A*s, 2Bs and 2As.

She said: I'm really chuffed a lot of them were better than I expected, maths and science were the stand outs.” Sadie will study at the academy's sixth form next term.

Jessica Humes, 16, of Clifton Court, Workington, got 1A*, 5As, 4Bs and a C. She said: “I'm really pleased, the As in maths exceeded expectations.” she will stay at the academy going into sixth form there.

Will Smith, 16, of Barepot, got 5A*s, 5As and 1B. He said: “I could not have asked for more, I got more than what I expected the 3As in the sciences was massively impressive cos I thought the exams were hard” he is also staying on at the academy sixth form.

Billy Hucknall, 16, of Hazel Grove, Seaton, got 1A, 2Bs, 6Cs and 1E. He said: "I'm in shock at the moment and I've very overwhelmed. I thought physics was difficult and overall I'm really happy."

He is going to stay on at sixth form.

At Netherhall School, 45 per cent of pupils achieved A*-C with maths and English plus five.

Headteacher David Tromans said: “We're really pleased with the results they have got, we've got more A and A* grades than we have previously.

"It's good progress from last year and broadly in line with what we'd expected in terms of improvement, it's a good movement forward in a relatively short amount of time."

Leah McArdle, 16, of Maryport, got a pass in sport, A, B and 9Cs.

She said: " I'm really happy, I didn't think I was going to get my C in maths. I just couldn't believe it when I looked at the results, I couldn't read it because I had tears in my eyes."

She said she wanted to do something in health and social care, but did not know what yet.

Ashleigh Wilcock, 16, got one A*, two As, eight Bs and a pass in sport.

She said: "I feel so happy, I didn't expect so many Cs. I'm really surprised and a bit overwhelmed and I'm staying on at sixth form."

Holli Coulthard, 16, of Flimby, is staying on at the sixth form in Netherhall.

She said: "I'm chuffed, I honestly didn't expect to do so well and I'm really pleased with my maths." She got eigt As and three Bs and a pass in sport.

Kelly Pearce, 16, of Maryport, is also staying on to do A-levels at Netherhall. She said: "I'm so happy I cried a little bit. I had jitters this morning and was too nervous to come by myself."

She got two A*s, six As and three Bs.

Cockermouth School saw 23 students achieve five A* grades and 33 students gain eight or more A* or A grades. In total, 70 per cent of students achieved five or more A*-C grades at GCSE.

Headteacher Dr Rob Petrie said: “These results are an increase on last year.

"These results are clear evidence of the further progress that Cockermouth School is making.

"Our students have worked incredibly hard over the last two years and I offer them my congratulations on their successes.

"Many thanks also go to our dedicated staff and parents, who tirelessly supports students throughout their studies.

"There are many excellent results in a range of subjects and we pride ourselves on the broad curriculum available to our students."

Grace So, 17, of Northumberland Street, Workington, got 8A*s and 2As.

Grace only started studying at the school last year after moving here from Malaysia.

She said: “I was sort of expecting to get these results and I feel good.

"I don't have a clue what I want to do when I get older it's a double celebration today as it's my birthday."

Adam Greenbank, 16, of Great Broughton, got 10A*s and in sixth form he will be taking maths, further maths, physics and computing in the future he is hoping to get into computer programming.

He said: “I worked really hard for these results, it was a nice surprise, I'm really happy, I can relax now."

Frances Elisabeth Ulyatt, 16, of Cockermouth, got 5As, 3Bs, 2Cs these are the results that she needed to get into sixth form.

She said: "I am not surprised. In sixth form she will be taking chemistry, drama and maths. To celebrate she is going with a group of friends to coffee kitchen and she is going to go down south to visit her brother in Birmingham."

Jonathan Johnson, principal at West Lakes Academy in Egremont, said since 2009 when the school turned into an academy, its five A* to C pass rates, including in English and maths, have improved from 27 per cent to 63 per cent this year.

"We have got a record set of results," he said. "More than 20 per cent of all academic grades were either A* or A."

There were concerns that changes to grade boundaries and structural changes to questions and papers would have a negative effect on GCSE results this year.

However, Mr Johnson and other headteachers said thanks to teachers' hard work, the changes had not caused any serious problems.

Mr Johnson said: "We have got students who come to us who deeply value the amount of time, effort and energy that our staff invest in them."

West Lakes Academy pupils were anxiously waiting outside the school building before flooding in to collect their results.

63 per cent of students gained five or more A*-C grades including English and mathematics and 99 per cent achieving one or more A*-G grades. More than one in five of all academic grades received were awarded either an A* or A.

Mr Johnson was keen to congratulate the students, saying: “These results prove that coming to West Lakes Academy gives you the chance to be exceptional. Our staff provide children world-class opportunities, giving them the platform to make their life extraordinary and that they carry this with them all their life.

"There’s nothing more special than days like today when our students receive the reward for their achievements and resilience in making sure every special moment of every day counted. It is a humbling experience to witness.”

Lettie Wareing, of Gosforth, said she was "quite shocked" after gaining nine A*s and two As.

"I was quite hopeful and to be honest, the summer was pretty good because I didn't think about it that much,"said the 16-year-old. "It was more of a feeling of relief after the exams were over."

Joe Mellen, of Beckermet, gained seven A*s, two As, one B and one C.

"They're better than I thought," said the 16-year-old. "Getting it over with was the main thing!"

Laura Mariannou, from Egremont, gained eight A*s and three As.

The the 16-year-old said: "I wasn't expecting these results, I thought I'd done terribly and I was preparing for disappointment."


St Benedict’s students are celebrating some excellent results today following the publication of their GCSE examination results.

The results show that the proportion of students gaining a grade C or above in English and Maths is 56% compared with 51% last year.

Headteacher, Ian Smith, said, "Our 2016 GCSE results as a whole are up on last year's headline figures but the results are really about individual students.

I would like to pass on my personal congratulations to our students and to wish them well as they take their next steps."

Amy Fox, of Valley Park, Whitehaven, gained six A*s, five As and one B.

The 16-year-old said: "I'm chuffed after all the work I put in. I didn't expect these results at all. I was a bit unsure about how I'd done in some of the exams, like English literature, but I managed to get an A in that."

Megan Smith, of Frizington, gained three A*s, four As and four Bs, and said she was "pleasantly surprised" by her grades.

The 16-year-old said: "I didn't expect this at all. I didn't feel confident after some of the exams so I'm pleasantly surprised."

Callum Morgan, from Hensingham, said he was "absolutely buzzing" after receiving nine passes.

"During the exams I wasn't too nervous, but he two weeks leading up to this have been the worst," said the 16-year-old. "But, it's a good feeling to find out that you've done better than you thought."

Whitehaven Academy, vice-principal Jenny Nimmo said: "I am absolutely delighted in our students who have worked to the best of their potential. It really is a testament to the hard work of the pupils and the staff."

Whitehaven Academy students and good friends, Jasper Lithgow and Cameron Bowskill, achieved 20 A*s between them.

Jasper, 16 from Bransty, was awarded 10 A*s and said: "I wasn't too nervous waiting for my results, but it's been a long wait. It's arduous having to wait months and months to see how you've done.

"I worked exceptionally hard and I'm chuffed because I didn't think I'd do this well."

Jasper wants to study medicine and Cameron is looking to study physics after his A levels.

Ben Massey, from High Street, Whitehaven received six A*s, two As and two Bs.

The 16-year-old said he will study maths, further maths, chemistry and physics for his A levels and said he was "very nervous" in the days leading up to results day.

He added: "The exams were so long ago that I couldn't remember how I'd done in them!"

Chloe Mason, from Hillcrest, gained five As, two Bs and three Cs.

"I didn't know what to expect today," said the 16-year-old who wants to study biology, chemistry, maths and German for her A levels. "But I was quite confident because I had worked so hard. I was still a bit nervous though."

Millom School is this year celebrating its GCSE results with 59% of students achieving five A*-C including English and Maths, which is a significant increase from last year.

Behind this figure are some exceptional individual performances by students.

Top performances by females included Amber Whyte who achieved 9 A* grades and one Distinction*. Saffron Hine, Chloe Pinney, Iona Smith, Katherine Armstrong and Lily Wilford were also amongst a number of high-performing females.

Top performances amongst the males included Stephen Leighton who achieved the best results with one A* grade, three A grades, two B grades and three C grades.

Alfie Sharp and Tom Huddleston also achieved excellent results and are continuing their studies at Millom School Sixth Form.

Headteacher Matt Savidge said, “I am delighted with such a fantastic set of GCSE results, with two thirds of students achieving at least a C grade in both English and Maths.

"It has been a great pleasure working with these students over the last year and they have been rewarded for their commitment and effort. I would like to congratulate all of our students on their individual performances."