Gallery: Students across Essex celebrate A-level success

Jouja Maamri is one of the top scoring A-level students at Colchester Sixth Form College on Thursday

Jouja Maamri is one of the top scoring A-level students at Colchester Sixth Form College on Thursday, 14 August. - Credit: Su Anderson

The anxious wait for pupils from schools across Essex is over as they finally find out their A-level results.

A student at Colchester Royal Grammar School has set a new record for the best set of individual results.

Libera Assini achieved an astonishing eight A*s and three A grades, and is now off to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University.She was the best out of a number of top performers at the school, which overall recorded 98% A*-C grades.Other star students included Matthew Burwood with six A*s and two As, Aoife O’Riordan with six A*s and Tom Ellis and Adriel Chan with five A*s and one A grade each.Headmaster Ken Jenkinson said: “This year’s students have done brilliantly and are to be congratulated on their outstanding achievements.“I expected the grades to take a bit of a dip this year with the removal of the January modules but they have held up remarkably well.“I am confident that the students are ready and prepared, both academically and personally, for the next stage of their education and I wish them every success in their university courses which they can now embark on with confidence and enthusiasm.“This year group has been full of character, really supportive and good fun, and we will miss them and their influence on the school community.”Pupils at Colchester County High School for Girls were jumping for joy as they achieved another top set of results.Star performers included Victoria Bowden, Darcy Levison, Karen Mak and Megan Moore who attained six A*s and A grades.Gillian Marshall, head teacher, said: “we are extremely proud of the students. These are an outstanding set of results.“Congratulations are sent to all associated with this remarkable achievement.”More than 1,300 A-level students at Colchester Sixth Form College nervously opened their results today after months of waiting.They achieved an overall pass rate of 98% with almost 50% at A*-B level, and more than 1,000 are now off to university.Ian MacNaughton, college principal, said: “These results are really fantastic. The students’ achievements are quite outstanding and they must be very warmly congratulated.”Amongst the very high achievers were Will Pryke who achieved five A*s grades and is going on to study medicine at University College London and Joe Wenden who got the same grades and is off to study medicine at St George’s Medical School, London.Jouja Maamri, from Witham, attained three A*s, an A and a B, and has turned down a place at Cambridge University to instead take up a scholarship place at Barnard College, Columbia University, in New York, as part of the prestigious Sutton Trust programme. Her exceptional talent and hard work were also recently recognised by her receipt of the Colchester Youth Award for Learning Achievement.Hedingham School, in Sible Hedingham, saw 96% of students getting a pass in their A-levels, with 72 % of the grades at A*-C.The school said it was particularly proud of its Art department which saw five A*s, two As and a B. Notable student performances included Taylor Haldane with two As and one B, Nathan Hope who gained one A and two Bs and will go to Sussex University to study History and Politics. Jessica Davis attained one A*, one A, one B and will be studying Graphic Design at Reading University. The AS pass rate of 91% was the best result the school has achieved.Head teacher John Panayi said: “We are very pleased to achieve another good year of A-level results, and the pass rate at AS level is excellent and really encouraging for the future.“The school continues to set high expectations for the students and this is again reflected in the results.“I would like to thank the commitment and hard work demonstrated by all students, staff and parents. I wish all the students a successful future.”Philip Morant College, Colchester, had a record-breaking year with 39% of results at A*-B, the highest since A*s were introduced.Overall the college enjoyed a 98% pass rate and 73.8% A*-C rate.Top performers at the college included Nicola Diggens, Ella Woodward, Kathryn Butt and Yaniv Proselkov who between them achieved six A* grades and seven A grades, giving them the grades they need to study Genetics at Essex University; History at Pembroke College, Cambridge; English at Royal Holloway; and Mathematics at Bristol, respectively.Head of college Gareth Staines said: “We work very closely with our students and build excellent relationships over the two years they spend in the college, but results day is what it’s all about.“I am so pleased to see so many students do so well. They thoroughly deserve it.“We’ll miss them, but I know they are going off to do all manner of exciting things, in which they will undoubtedly be very successful. Well done, everyone.”Thurstable Sixth Form, in Tiptree, was celebrating a huge rise in the average points school per student across A-levels and BTEC results, up to 696 compared to 551 last year. The A*-C pass rate was 78%.Top students at the school included William Weller who got 4 As at A-level, plus two A*s in BTEC ICT. Particularly outstanding BTEC results came from: Abi Gosling with 5A*s and Georgia Monk with 4A*s.Miles Bacon, head teacher, said: “This is a terrific set of results, and was hard earned by our students and staff.“It’s great to see almost all of our Year 13 gaining the qualifications they need to take up their chosen next steps in their education and their lives.“I would like to pay tribute to them, their teachers, and their supportive parents. They have made all of us at Thurstable very proud.”Clacton Coastal Academy, Clacton, also showed an improvement on last year with 97% of students achieving A*-E or equivalent, with 47% at A*-C grade, and more than half of pupils going on to university, the academy’s highest ever figure.Notable students included Daniel Duggan who achieved an A on his Extended Project Qualification plus two Bs, a Distinction* and a Distinction, and Mathew Baroni-Voak with a triple Distinction* in media, which he is going on to study at Bristol.Principal Tracey Hemming said: “The drive for improvement and academic success at CCA is continuous and is reflected in these results.“The sixth form students have benefited greatly from an outstanding new Sixth Form Centre and by the move to one site.“Their influence and maturity has also added to the purposeful ethos of the Academy and as role models, they are excellent examples for the younger students.“There are many well deserved successes to celebrate today and many students well prepared for the next part of their educational journey. I and the staff at CCA couldn’t be more pleased for them.”Nardeep Sharma, executive principal at the Colne Community College, Brightlingsea, welcomed the 100% overall pass rate of students and particularly praised the results of those taking sport, which the college has specialist status in.He said: “I am delighted all the Colne Sixth Form College students’ and teachers’ hard work has culminated in a successful group of results. The Sixth Form College is growing and the results reflect its vibrant nature.”Every student at Harwich and Dovercourt High School who applied to university got accepted on the course of their choice.The school enjoyed an overall pass rate of 100% with 65% attaining A*-C.Acting head teacher Lynne Gettings said: “Many congratulations to our Year 13 students. Staff are very proud of our students’ achievements.“We are delighted that half of all grades are A*/A/B equivalent.A real cause for celebration is the fact that every student who applied for a university place has secured the course of their choice.“I wish all our students every success in their careers.”Students who did notably well achieving at least 4 A-levels, including a mixture of A-level top grades and BTEC distinctions included Daniel Bedingfield, Blerina Ferati, Craig Currey, Tia Gardiner and Farhaanah Begum.Staff and students at Braintree Sixth Form, which opened in 2009, are celebrating after top results for those taking both A-levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB).Top A-level achievers included Aimee Mason and Emma Norris who both secured two A*s and an A, gaining them places at Kent University to study English and American Literature and Creative Writing and at Queen Mary University to read Mathematics with Business Management respectively.Twins Kellie and Aimee Barker clocked up 6 A*-B grades between them and will both be taking up places at Kent University, while a second set of twins April and Holly Woulfe are also celebrating university places, going to Durham and Winchester respectively.Fathema Rahman achieved an IB score of 38, equivalent to more than four A* grades, and placing her in the top 8% of students in the world. She will now go on to study law at Queen Mary University.Co-directors of Sixth Form Sarah Steadman and Kate Stubbs, said in a statement: “We are delighted to see so many of our students achieving academic success.“The number of them securing places at top universities in these competitive times is testament to both their hard work and the support of parents and staff.”Simon Thompson, head teacher of Notley High School and Braintree Sixth Form, added: “This fourth set of results from Braintree Sixth Form confirm that within five years of opening we have established, with our partner schools, a very successful sixth form.“I would especially wish to congratulate all our students on their successes and thank the sixth form leadership team, teachers and support staff for their unstinting work with the students.”The combined sixth forms at New Rickstones and Maltings Academies, Witham, celebrate a 99.6% overall pass rate with 55% of students achieving A*-B grades.Star performers included Alec Granville-Willett who scored three A*s and one A, who will go on to study sciences at Cambridge University, while Corrine Woraker secured a double Distinction* in BTEC performing arts and a Distinction* in music, securing her a place at one of the country’s highly competitive universities in the performing arts field, University of Wales, Trinity St David to study acting.John Szynal, head teacher at the Maltings Academy, said: “We are particularly delighted that Alec has secured such fantastic results and will be going on to study sciences at Cambridge University.”Trenica King, head teacher at New Rickstones, added: “Congratulations to all students on their A-level results. I’m delighted for them on their successes and wish them continued achievement at university and in their future careers.”Both head teachers hope students will stay in touch and thanked the staff who supported the hard work of students.At Clacton County High School there was a ten per cent increase in those students getting the highest grade, with 80% of A*-C grades. At BTEC level there was a 100% pass rate with 85% of grades at either Distinction of Distinction*.Top achievers included Lisa Quick with two A*s, an A and a B and Nathan Moss with two As and two Bs.Principal Jeff Brindle said: “Once again the results in the sixth form have surpassed all expectations. We have seen exceptional achievement across the board.“The proportion of students achieving the highest grades is very impressive and is down to the exceptional efforts made by the students and their teachers.“My congratulations go out to all of the students and their families and I wish them every success in the next stage in their chosen path.”At AS-level year 12 students achieved the school’s best-ever results.Three-quarters of students at Tendring Technology College, Frinton, achieved A* or A grades, with the college overall achieving 81% A*-C grades.One of the top students this year was Simon Brackley, who got three A*s and an A and will now go on to study medicine at Cambridge.Assistant principal James Saunders said: “We are really happy, and we are up on A*s in quite a few departments. Special mention must go to the art department where 43% of grades are A* and 50% are A*/A.“Staff and students have been working very hard this year and this particular cohort have really excelled and gelled – their dedication to extra-curricular activities and bonding with their teachers shows it is not just the academic side of things here, and if people enjoy college then it benefits them overall.”Pupils at Felsted School, visited by the Queen earlier this year, got a royal set of results, with 78% achieving A-C grades. Three students achieved places at Oxbridge, with Eliz Peck getting three A*s and heading off to read History at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Dan Benson achieving two A*s and an A to read Physics at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and Hugh Evans attaining an A* and two As and will now read Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Balliol, Oxford.Headmaster Dr Mike Walker said: “I am delighted at the excellent performance of so many of our students which, in an exceptional year celebrating the 450th anniversary of the foundation of our school, shows their ability to work hard and balance academic rigour with many other demands.“They have represented Felsted superbly at major public occasions, with great pride and exemplary turnout and behaviour, but they have also demonstrated the capacity to sustain over 60% A*-B grades overall, at a time when A-levels are even more demanding and the government is forecasting a drop in the top grades.“It is a terrific team effort by staff and students working closely together, and our students deserve many congratulations for all they have achieved.”