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Set for another record breaking year of A-levels

Maidstone Grammar School: Nathan Blewett, 18, (five As), Duncan Furley, 18, Tom Smith, 18, Tom O'Hagan, 18, Ed Saunders, 18 and Akash Pancholi, 18, got more than 20 A grades between them. Picture:Emily Hall
Maidstone Grammar School: Nathan Blewett, 18, (five As), Duncan Furley, 18, Tom Smith, 18, Tom O'Hagan, 18, Ed Saunders, 18 and Akash Pancholi, 18, got more than 20 A grades between them. Picture:Emily Hall

The A-level results haveo come in and schools are claiming record-breaking results.

Kent Messenger reporters, photographers and radio journalists have been dispatched to schools across Maidstone and Tonbridge and Malling to record the celebrations and commiserations of the day.

For a full guide to the next steps - whether you got the grades you need, fell slightly short, or did even better than expected - see our special feature on KentOnline.

Come back to kentmessenger.co.uk later today for more pictures and stories, and don't miss reports on kmfm and in tomorrow's Kent Messenger.

  • Invicta Grammar School has achieved its best A-level results ever with 66 per cent of grades at A or B - an increase of 14 per cent on 2007 results.

    Kirstin Cardus, the head of school, said: “We are delighted with these fantastic results which are attributed to the hard work and commitment of the students as well as the dedication of the staff.

    “One student this year achieved six straight A grades, two students achieved five straight A grades and five students achieved four straight A grades. Two students have gained a place at Oxbridge.

    “Nine students came in the top 10 in the country for applied business studies, one came in the top 10 for drama, one for ICT and two students in the top 10 for art textiles.”

    Nine students shared 45 A level A grades between them at Maidstone Grammar School.

    Darren Gilbertson, James Bown, Duncan Furley, Oliver Murray, Tom O’Hagan, Akash Pancholi, Russell Pointin and Tom Smith all tore open their results to find they had secured four A grades as well as each getting a further A grade at AS level.

    Nathan Blewett, 18, was the star pupil of the year gaining five A grades.

    Headteacher Neil Turrell said he was immensely proud of every student - especially as the school also celebrated an eight per cent increase on its A-B pass rate which now stands at 62.5 per cent.

    Oliver Murray received a commendation from an exam board for being one of the top five candidates in the country.

    Joe Bedford received a similar commendation for being among the top 10 UK PE students.

    Mr Turrell said: "The results have been absolutely outstanding at both International Baccalaureate level and at A-level. They have been the best results we have ever had.

    "Combined we are significantly better than in any year of the school’s history so we’re thrilled."

    Grant Simmonds, 17, from Wrotham, got As in German, French, Geography and Biology and 100 per cent in his French oral and in one biology module. He has now secured a place at Oxford University to read German and French.

    Sam Camrass, 18, from Yalding, could hardly disguise his smile after getting As in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.

    Fellow student Ed Saunders, 18, got four As and will take up a place at Cambridge University to study law.

    He said: "It’s really great getting these results after all the hard work we’ve put in. It’s really rewarding when you’ve done so much revision."

    A pass rate of 99% was recorded at St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone. Two thirds of pupils were awarded grade C or higher.

    Head teacher John McParland said: "These results show that students of all abilities will flourish at our school.

    "This year, as in previous years, many of our students have achieved the highest grades, including several students who are celebrating today with a full complement of A grades at both A Level and AS Level.

    "I am delighted for the students, and this special day is their reward for two years intensive study.”

    Both the head boy and deputy head boy achieved four grade As. Head boy Robert Callaghan will take a gap year and will apply to study politics at Cambridge University.

    The deputy head boy, Matthew McParland, will study economics at Nottingham University.

    The deputy head girl, Holly Rust, achieved 520 UCAS points, including three A-level grade As. In a year’s time Holly will take up a place at the University of East Anglia to study English literature. Before then, she will spend a year working with the school's chaplaincy team.

    At AS-level, Paolo Angeles, Kieran Lambe and John Ryan in Year 12 each achieved four grade As. Paul Batty, also in Year 12, achieved a grade A in A-level mathematics and three grade As at AS-level.

    Mr McParland said: "The successes of our high-achieving sixth formers set an example for our younger students to aim for."

    Mascalls School, in Paddock Wood, is celebrating its best A level results with a pass rate of 98 per cent.

    Fifty one pupils took the exams, with most of them gaining entry to their first choice of university.

    Among them was Charlotte May, 18, from Tudeley, who gained three A grades and a distinction in the Advanced Extension Award in English.

    Charlotte, who plans to go to Nottingham University to study English, said : “I am very pleased. I can’t believe it. I was sure that I was going to fail.”

  • Astor of Hever Community School pupil Elena J Tuppen was among the top ten students in the country in applied art and design, according to examining body Edexcel.

    Jerry Jarvis, Edexcel’s managing director said “This is a tremendous achievement and testament to the hard work students put into preparing for their exams. We send our congratulations to Elena J."

    The school's head teacher, Julia Campbell, said: "I am very pleased with the performance of our students in this year’s AS and A2 examinations.

    "Initial figures indicate the percentage of students achieving 2 or more A level passes has risen by 16% on last year.

    "Particularly pleasing is the performance of pupils in traditional academic courses, sport and art. Students have worked hard over the year and their results and university places secured reflect this. We look forward to the return of our AS level students in September."

    Angley School A Sports College, in Cranbrook, is celebrating an 88 per cent pass rate in its A-levels - a school record.

    It includes 100% passes in BTEC National Certificate in sport, English literature, English language, RE, psychology and sociology.

    Head teacher Philip Morris said: "Congratulations to our top performing students: Hannah Collins, Rachel Hart, Bethany Hulme and Becky Leeding.

    "Hannah achieved A grades in both English language and literature, a B grade in RE, plus a C in sociology. Four Year 12 students also gained full A level passes including three B grades in RE."

    He added: "All our students will leave Angley with great results and a rich experience which will prepare them well for their next steps. They have made a huge contribution to the life and success of the school and I am very pleased with their results."

    Cranbrook School had an overall pass rate of 98%, and two-thirds of its pupils passed with As and Bs.

    Head teacher Angela Daly said: "This year's A Level students have maintained the very high standards that we have come to expect. We had 157 candidates, sitting a total of 473 exams. The pass rate was 98% and the % of A/B grades was 66% with 26 students gaining 3 or more grade As."

    She said the top-performing students, with four A grades, were Bridget Friday, Leo Kent, Laura McShane, Ashley Morris, Sophie Newman, Lucy Richards, Laura Watkins and Kae Yue Wong

    Amy King also gained four As and was named by the exam board as in the top 10 achieving students at English language in the country.

    Alice Bainbridge and Willie Chan achieved four A grades plus an additional AS result also at grade A.

    Michael Whitewood gained five grade A results in biology, chemistry, maths, further maths and philosophy & ethics.

    Mrs Daly added: "I am delighted that the students' hard work was so well rewarded and that virtually all of them have gained the grades they need to confirm their university places."

    At Bethany School, Goudhurst, head girl Natasha Fitzgerald from Frittenden secured straight As and will be going to Warwick University to study the history of art.

    The pass rate was 99.5 per cent with 47 per cent at A and B grades.

    Headmaster Nick Dorey said: “Our policy is to admit students on courses as long as we feel they will pass.

    “Out of 170 A-levels taken only one was failed...Decisons should be based on what is right for the individual students, not for league table reasons.”

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