Published: 06:00, 15 August 2019
| Updated: 09:54, 19 August 2019
It's the day thousands of teenagers have been waiting for, A-level results are out.
Our reporters and photographers will be at schools across Medway as students rip open those all-important envelopes.
At King’s Rochester, grades were significantly higher than in 2018 with 11% at A*, 31% at A*/A and 57% of grades at A* to B, showing an improvement in performance.
The top 40% of the year (comparable to a grammar school cohort), achieved 61% of their grades at A*/A with 100% at A* to B.
Pupils are off to Oxbridge, Durham, Exeter, Nottingham, Manchester, Brunel, Goldsmiths and ACM London.
Giselle Harris will take up her place at Magdalen College, Oxford, to read English language and literature having achieved three A* while Isobel Gilbert, a ‘lifer’ who has been at King’s since nursery, will study veterinary medicine at the University of Surrey after achieving 3 As.
After sitting his further mathematics examination a year early, Erez Li achieved 4 A* and will study engineering at Robinson College, Cambridge.
Travel awaits Head Boy Leon Neubauer, (A*, 2 As) will be reading Japanese at Durham and Lewis Bentley, (A*, A, B) goes on to study The Ancient World at University College London as both courses include a year abroad.
Some are off for other adventures. Chris Walji is looking forward to starting his time with the Royal Navy in September and Leon Kennedy will be heading to Tanzania to support an entrepreneurial charity.
Principal Ben Charles said: “These results are particularly pleasing and reflect the hard work of pupils and staff alike. Particularly pleasing is the broad range of courses pupils will pursue including music production, architecture, law, languages, zoology, psychology, economics, accounting and mathematics. But, behind all these statistics lie some compelling and exceptional personal triumphs for our pupils and we celebrate their success with them and their families today."
The pupils at Thomas Aveling School celebrated their results with the help of therapy dog Kobi.
Deputy head teacher Fiona Linter brought in her Australian German Shepherd puppy to help students who may have struggled with getting their results.
But high flyer Eason Lam had nothing to worry about. The 17-year-old from Rochester got an A in maths, an A in chemistry and a B in physics. He is off to Bath University in September to study chemical engineering.
Rebecca Kitchen said she was not overly pleased with her A in geography, B in English and C in politics. However she still got into her first choice the University of Kent to study psychology. She also said her nan is buying her a bag to say well done, so she was not too upset.
Her friend Callum Beer got, three Cs in geography politics and chemistry and going to the University of Kent to study politics.
Aurora Harding of Thomas Aveling School opening her A-level results
Aurora Harding is going to University of Creative Arts to study film. She got a C in photography and a Distinction Star in BTEC in performing arts.
Waterfront UTC continued to improve, with the overall academic grade increasing and 25% of students achieving the highest grades in the college's specialist courses of engineering and construction.
Performance in academic subjects moved forward by a whole grade per subject over last year. Performance in construction and engineering was very strong with students achieving distinctions and merits from the new tougher examined courses.
Early indications were that all students should secure places on their chosen university courses and higher apprenticeships. Performance of disadvantaged students was particularly impressive being a half grade above the cohort average and national expectation.
Notable individual performances included Charlie Darlington who attained D*D*D* in engineering, A in mathematics and B in physics and is moving on to study mechatronics at University of Sheffield.
Another stand-out performance was Jasmin Ee, who attained D*D*D in engineering, A in mathematics and C in art. Jasmine has accepted a degree apprenticeship with Edwards Vacuum engineering company.
A number of students are moving onto apprenticeships and university courses in construction and engineering including Ryan Wheatley, who has secured a degree apprenticeship with global firm WSP, and Thomas Marshall who is studying chemical engineering at Nottingham University.
At Hundred of Hoo Academy, the overall pass rate for all qualifications was 98%, with an average of a grade C and more than a third securing A*- B, a further increase from last academic year.
Impressive performances included Ethan Cottier, who achieved an A and three Bs in mathematics AS, biology, history and physics and will be going to the University of Kent to study biology.
Aoife Dewer achieved distinction*, A, B and distinction in public services, extended project, history and politics. She will be reading history at Royal Holloway University.
Jay Bowman secured distinction* across the board, with double distinction* in public services and double distinction* in health and social. He will be attending Christ Church University to study a degree in adult nursing.
Karolina Kontrimaite, is off to Reading University to study architecture after securing AAD in English literature, history and physics.
Anisha Patel achieved BBB in English literature, history and media studies. Anisha will be reading law at Surrey University.
Rabia Kashif achieved an ABC in English literature, chemistry and biology who after a gap year will study animal science at Canterbury Christchurch University.
The school also praised those who had demonstrated "considerable character, resilience and perseverance over the last two years to achieve their potential".
They included Katie Carter, for her dedication to supporting local communities and health services via her charitable work. She was highly successful as sixth form charity and community prefect and led a project to share festive treats with NHS staff, hospice workers and the local emergency services during over Christmas.
Katie achieved a distinction, distinction*, distinction* and A in health and social national diploma, public services and her extended project qualification.
Lauren Masters is embarking on a degree at the University of Greenwich and hopes to become a teacher. She successfully undertook an additional ASDAN qualification, Personal Effectiveness, working alongside the academy’s primary phase, and achieved CCC in English literature, history and photography.
Luke Webb was praised for consistently supporting primary pupils through intervention and supporting his peers. Luke also successfully undertook an additional Into Teaching qualification alongside his English literature, physics and Spanish A-level.
Principal Emma Elwin said: ‘‘We are delighted to be able to share in our young people’s successes and congratulate all our year 13 students on their remarkable individual and collective achievements. We are very proud of each and every one of our students who will now be able to go on the next steps of their choosing, whether it be university, higher level apprenticeships or the world of work. On behalf of the entire Hundred of Hoo community, I would like to wish all of our students the very best of luck for the future.”
Vice chairman of governors Pat Sanford said: “It was a privilege to watch the students open their envelopes to receive their results. The look of satisfaction on their faces was great to see and congratulations go to them all and of course to the school for their support of the students."
Chairman of governors Keith Morrison said: “I am very proud of our students and their achievements. Post-16 study is challenging and our students rose to this challenge admirably. I take this opportunity to thank Emma Elwin and her staff for all of their efforts."
Bradfields Academy, a special needs provision for children with moderate to complex learning needs, was extremely proud to announce its first ever A-level result.
Libby had worked hard to achieve an A-level in English literature, successfully accomplishing far higher than her target grade.
Staff at the academy said it was "a huge achievement for Libby", adding: "This result is a tribute to the hard work and talent of Libby and the outstanding teaching and support by our staff.
"This clearly demonstrates that Bradfields Academy’s personalised approach to developing each young person’s talents ensures all are successful on their learning journeys and are enabled to reach their full potential."
At Rochester Math School, the 179 year 13 students who collected their results enjoyed considerable success, the best ever achieved: 15% of all grades awarded were at A*, up from 11% last year; 40% of all grades awarded were at A*-A grade, up by 5% from last year; while 64% of all grades secured were at A*-B level.
The average points per subject, a measure of the typical grade per A-level, was 39.9, the highest ever achieved by students at the school and equates to a B grade.
Ten students gained 3 or 4 A*/A and 76 students (42% of the year group) avoided any grade lower than a B, the same proportion as last year.
A key benchmark is the proportion of students gaining at least AAB in two facilitating subjects, which this year was 24% of Year 13, also up on last year.
Head teacher Eliot Hodges said: "I am delighted for all our students. They, together with their teachers, have worked really hard and it has paid off. They are a great group of young people who will now move on with confidence to the next stage in their lives."
An increasing number are off to university and for many the first generation to do so in their family. As always, apprenticeships are proving popular.
Students streamed in to pick up their results at Greenacre which shares the same site as the girls' secondary in Walderslade.
Greenacre head teacher Shelly Bridger said: “At all our trust academies, we mentor our young students and nurture their talents.
"I could not be more proud of our young people who again have excelled in their exam results, highlighting all of the hard work they have done. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to play a part in the journey of these amazing young people."
Dan Mallia, who is head of sixth form, echoed her comments and said they had excelled in vocational subjects and done particularly well in ICT, business studies and PE.
Mr Mallia said while about 35% were looking to go on to university, a significant number were talking up apprenticeships, particularly engineering.
He said: "We encourage them to go to local companies like BAE Systems, Delphi and Saxon Engineering which has to be good for the local economy."
Fraser Campbell, head of Walderslade Girls', said: “ This year’s results have built on the progress made in previous years with 24% of pupils achieving an A*-B grade in their chosen area, a fantastic set of vocational results even with the new compulsory external exam, as well as a number of distinction star grades being awarded in applied science."
Richard Cross, head of sixth form, said: "Our results are up on last year and we did well in the sciences which is good news at a girls school."
Individual star pupils included: Dolcie Callery, Mariam Majid and Olivia Manchester all received triple distinction * in science; Shelby Baker achieved an A in psychology and B in English literature and philosophy and ethics; Leavi Bolton achieved distinction * in textiles and an A in art; Luke Squires achieved a double distinction star in ICT and a merit in business studies; Fred Ansell achieved a double distinction * in ICT; and George Larman and Ben Hare achieved high average point scores.
Karol Itauma, former sixth form head boy and a junior Olympic champion amateur boxer, got distinctions and merits in business and PE and has secured a place with Team GB in Sheffield.
Holcombe Grammar School (HGS) saw a 98% pass rate in A-levels.
Stand-out students included head boy Michael Cameron, who posted three A*, and is off to Oxford University to read PPE (philosophy, politics and economics).
Michael said: “I’m organised and excited for the future – deeply thankful for everything Holcombe has done for me over the past seven years.”
Sophie Barraclough, who achieved an A* and two A grades, secured a place to read biomedical science at Birmingham University.
Sophie said: “Thanks for the support from all the teachers and staff at Holcombe Grammar School. I’ve managed to secure my first choice on the course I wanted.”
Chukwudumebi Nwagwu achieved three As and a B and will also study biomedical science at Birmingham University.
Rodrigo Silva, with four A grades, will now read psychology at Durham University.
Kieran McDonaugh secured three As and will progress to a degree in chemical engineering at Surrey University.
Kieran said: “Shocked, lost for words and very emotional.”
Callum Mortlock secured an A*, an A and a B and will read civil engineering at Loughborough University.
Callum said: “Ecstatic – hard work has paid off and I can’t wait for September.”
James Rouse achieved two A grades and a B.
James said: “It feels good to know I have done it. My future at university is secure in studying criminology at Lancaster”.
Holcombe Grammar School executive principal Mandy Gage said: “Yet again this year we have seen some outstanding performances by our students. I am so proud of what they have achieved, and I would like to thank their teachers and their parents for their contribution.
“I wish all of our Year 13 students the best of luck as they move on to their next big adventure, including those going on to some of the country’s most highly acclaimed universities.”
David Day, interim head of school, said: “Congratulations to Holcombe sixth formers whose A-level results have opened the door to prestigious university degree courses and top employment opportunities. It is great to see Holcombe Grammar students achieving their aspirations.”
At The Robert Napier School, results were, on average a third of a grade higher than 2018, bucking the national downward trend.
There were strong performances in particular in subjects such as history, art and ICT, also demonstrating the range of subjects being studied, both academic and applied.
Top performers included: Diana Koslova (A*,A, Merit/Merit), Callum Webber (A*, A, C, C), Raheed Hussain (A,B,B), Amy Joyce (A*, A, C, C) Lorenzo Toma (A*, distinction*, distinction), Rhys Mumford (B,B,C), Matthew Punyer (A,C,C) and Eleanor Stringer (C, C, C).
One of the highest performances came from Raheed Hussain, who is off to Queen Mary University to study business and politics. After receiving his results, Raheed also heard valuable advice from Rehman Chishti MP on the potential of being a British business diplomat, as well as travelling the world.
Conor Malone, achieving C,C, C and an A grade in his extended project qualification, can now apply for officer training with the RAF and hopes to hear over the next few months.
Diana Koslova, who will study biomedical science at Kingston University, was very excited having achieved an A in art.
Head teacher Andrew Minchin said “I am delighted and proud of the achievements of an excellent group of students. They have raised the bar for the year group to follow them and shown that hard work and determination can help any student from any background to go on to the best universities”.
Rochester Grammar School saw nearly two thirds of grades in A-levels and IB A* to B or equivalent, and three students managing straight A* or A at A-level.
The students’ results have seen them win places at some of the best universities in the country – including Cambridge, UCL, Durham, Warwick, Exeter, Surrey, Nottingham, Southampton, Queen Mary’s and Loughborough.
Individual results included:
• Nancy Dooley, who achieved A*AA with a distinction (D1) in a Cambridge Pre-U qualification in global perspectives and research (GPR). Nancy will now take up her place at Cambridge University to read human, social and political sciences.
• Former head girl Alice Humphrys, who achieved AAA with a D3 in GPR. Alice is now taking up her place at Nottingham to read English. She said: “I’m so happy to have been able to achieve such good results while keeping an active role in school as head girl. I’ll never forget my time at RGS.”
• Amy Tutt, who took up the BTEC pathway, achieved two A grades and a distinction in applied science. She is going to study psychology with clinical psychology at University of Lincoln.
• Laura Shimmins, one of several students who is now going on to study medicine, achieved an A*, an A and a B. Laura is going to UCL.
• Lindis Dixon, who achieved an A* in her extended project and three B grades in her A-levels, is going on to study sociology at Portsmouth.
• Eissma Hussain, who achieved an A*, an A and B, as well as a D3 in GPR. Eissma is planning on taking a gap year and applying for university next year.
The A-levels followed hot on the heels of success in this year’s International Baccalaureate (IB), when students achieved world-class results. The overall average score was 36, equivalent to A*A*AA at A-level.
RGS’ IB students will now take up places at universities including Bath, London School of Economics, Warwick, King’s College London, Lancaster, Imperial College London and Bristol.
The school will offer the IB exclusively in its sixth form from September 2020.
Acting head of school Joanna Wadey said: “We could not be prouder of our students this year, first in IB and now A-levels. Today’s results cap a fantastic year in which our sixth form students have worked so hard and seen that rewarded.
“I would also like to pay tribute to our dedicated and inspiring teachers, and our ever-supportive parents, who together help our students to realise their potential. We look forward to building on our success in the IB and at A-level this year and going from strength to strength.”
Stuart Gardner, chief executive officer of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust which runs RGS, said: “The calibre of results that this year’s cohort of students has achieved is yet again so impressive, and reflects the huge effort and dedication they put into their studies.
“Our students are a real credit to the school and the Trust, and we are all very much looking forward to seeing where their journeys take them next. A big thank you must also go out to all our staff and our wonderful community of parents and carers, who have supported our students the whole way.”
At The Howard School, the overall average grade across all subjects was a C which matches the best outcomes of recent years.
Performance in academic subjects moved forward again this year. Grades achieved in applied general subjects were said to be very strong with students achieving multiple distinctions and merits from the new tougher examined courses.
Early indications were that virtually all students had secured the grades necessary to go to their chosen university courses, higher apprenticeships and employment routes.
Outstanding individual performances included: Aidan Hornsby who attained philosophy A, film studies B, English B. He is going on to read English and film at Exeter University; Liam Howlett who attained an A* finance, business studies B and maths C. He has secured employment in the finance sector; Jack Nicholson secured finance A, English B and business studies B. He has secured employment with a banking institution; head girl Leah-Marie Baker attained double distinction in performing art, distinction in forensics and C for her extended project qualification. She will pursue childhood studies at Kent; head boy Matthew Nadeem travels to Nottingham to study of medicine; Nathan Collins, who attained B,B,B in philosophy, film studies and English. He will study business and marketing at Leicester; Michael Austin achieved B,B,B in biology, chemistry and physics. He will study zoology at Lincoln.
Rochester Independent College saw 60% of the 409 A-level entries graded A*-B. Fifteen Year 13 students have three or more A*/As.
Three RIC students are en-route to Oxbridge. Felix Enslin, from Sevenoaks, achieved A*A*A on a one year intensive A-level course and will read history and politics at Cambridge while scientists Georgia Crean (A*AA), from Sandwich, and Thanawitch Chatbipho (A*A*A*A), from Thailand, will study chemistry at Oxford.
Rupert Cochrane-Dyat, from Sevenoaks, is one of the year’s medics with his A*A*A* grades in biology, chemistry and maths winning him a place at Southampton Medical School.
Principal Alistair Brownlow said: “We emphasise not just getting students to pass their A-levels with excellent grades but, in a very focussed way, placing them on the best possible university course to help them fulfil their aspirations.
“We enable our students to focus on exam technique in an atmospherically relaxed but academically highly structured environment, encouraging them to believe in themselves more and grow in confidence.”
St John Fisher School saw improved results with 42% of all grades equivalent to A or A*, 57% of all grades equivalent to A*- B and 75% of all grades equivalent to A*- C.
This included: Dean Hughes, Anuoluwa Opemiyan, and Kacey Tattersall who achieved the equivalent of four A*; Dayana Getova and Megan Magee who achieved three Bs; Sam Richardson who achieved two B and one C grades.
Head teacher Dympna Lennon said: "Families, staff and students have worked as a team to achieve these brilliant results and I would like to congratulate and thank everyone involved."
Assistant head teacher Emma Bailey, head of sixth form, said: "I am immensely proud of all my students. It has been a pleasure to be part of their journey."
Cllr Martin Potter, portfolio holder for education and schools at Medway Council, said: “We know that A-level results day can be an exciting and extremely nerve-wracking time for hundreds of young people across Medway.
"The early reports we’ve received from schools look promising and I am particularly pleased to hear about the success stories and progress made at St John Fisher and the Waterfront UTC.
"All schools across Medway continue to make progress with pupils achieving at all levels. This is testament to the hard work of Medway’s young people and the valuable support of teachers, parents and carers.
"We are committed to helping Medway’s young people achieve their full potential to give them the best start in life. I would like to wish all of Medway’s young people the very best for the future.”
The results can have a big impact on what young people do next with going to university among the options.
But if the grades weren't as good as expected, help is at hand from organisations like UCAS.
Follow updates on Twitter using #KentALevels2019