IT WAS a morning of agony and ecstasy for students arriving at Leek High School on Thursday to pick up their A level results.
Though the class of 2014 had achieved some of Leek High’s best ever results, fierce competition for places meant not all got their first choice of university – even after achieving a clutch of A* and A grades.
Star student Reilly Knight from Bradnop was celebrating getting into Oxford to study Computer Science after achieving three A* grades in Maths, Further Maths and IT and an A* for his extended project.
But for high achieving Hannah Gordon, from Horton, it was a tear-filled morning after she was rejected by both Cambridge and Warwick universities despite achieving two A* grades in Maths and Further Maths, an A in Physics and a B in Chemistry. She had to wait until midday to go through the clearing system and accept an offer of a place to study Maths at Birmingham University.
She said: “I’ve had a really stressful morning. I never really expected to get into Cambridge but I did get the exam results I needed only to fall a few marks short on the university’s own entrance exam. Now that I’ve confirmed my place at Birmingham though, I am happy with the outcome.”
Also happy was Daniel Bentley, 18, from Leek who is off to Reading University to read English after picking up a B in English Literature and C grades in Art and History. He said: “I’m just really happy today. It’s been a long wait – two months in fact since my last exam – and I’m looking forward to starting uni and eventually either teaching or going into journalism.”
Kyle Steele, 18, from Leek, will be the first in his family to go to university after securing a place at Bangor to read History, inspired by his teacher, head of Leek High John Spencer.
Kyle, who was accompanied by proud parents Joanne and Adrian as he picked up his results, said: “I had set my sights on an Engineering apprenticeship and never really thought about university. But, the more I got into history, the more I enjoyed it and wanted to take it further. I was lucky to have a really good teacher.
“I needed a B in History to get my place and I got a C with a C in IT and a D in Design and Technology. Because I was only one mark off my B grade, I’ve had my place confirmed and it’s a big relief.”
Car-mad Tom Day from Blackshaw Moor will be studying Automotive Engineering at Warwick University after gaining an A grade in Maths and Bs in Physics and Art. He said: “I’m off on holiday with my family now then I’ll be packing my bags for uni and will make my mum cry. I’d like to work for a big car company like Land Rover or Aston Martin.”
Kieran Wood from Leek will be studying Sport and Exercise at Chester University after gaining Distinction * in his BTEC Sport course and one of Leek High’s performing artists, Abby Buxton, from Rushton, is off to the same uni to study Dance with her sights set on a career in theatre.
Headteacher John Spencer, who had spent the morning pacing the school grounds like an expectant father, said: “We’ve had some excellent results and our Year 13 leavers have scored a 100per cent pass rate at A level. In Maths, half those passes were at A* level which is a phenomenal achievement.
“We are truly delighted with the progress our youngsters have made this year, not only the very gifted, but also those who have made the very best of their talents.
“I am pleased with the outcomes today. Leek High is a very small school and every student here counts. It’s great to see so many young people doing well and to see our AS results which bode well for the future. Our Music department has had amazing results with every student getting a distinction and seven gaining distinction stars.”