An outstanding performer from Whitburn Academy was among thousands of South Tyneside schoolchildren celebrating this morning after collecting his GCSE results.
Harry McNamara, 16, secured an incredible 12 A* GCSEs, with one result still awaited, and is now set to attend Eton College, in London.
He was among a host of pupils from Whitburn Academy, on Rackley Way, to record impressive results, with 84.5% of their pupils achieving at least five A* to C GCSEs, and 74.2% of those including maths and English.
Meanwhile, 31.4% of them achieved the English Baccalaureate standard, which is to gain A* to C GCSEs including English, maths, a science, a modern foreign language and either history or geography.
Harry was among the standout performers, and will now study for A Levels in history, English literature, maths and economics. He said: “I’m thrilled with the results I got, and they are better than I expected.
“I’m looking to do something perhaps to do with journalism or politics in the future.
“This has been a very good school to study at, as everyone is very supportive and the teachers are very good.”
Another pupil with outstanding results was Flora Edmiston, who achieved 11 A*s and will now attend the Royal Grammar School, in Newcastle.
She said: “The results are better than I expected. I was scared about my result in French, as I didn’t think I had done as well in that.”
Headteacher Alan Hardie said: “The results were in line with what we expected for this year group.
“The children worked extremely hard, and a lot of them had big barriers to overcome. I’m very proud of the results they have all achieved.
“To me, the headline figure is always secondary to how the pupils have done individually.
“This is the best day of the year for me. To see the smiles on their faces is fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Boldon School, on New Road, was another school celebrating today after 64.7% of its pupils achieved at least five GCSEs, A* to C, with 57.5% of those including English and maths.
One of the pupils pleased with her results was Sarah Lucy Mackley, with one A*, three As and four distinctions.
She said: “I’m very pleased, as the results get me into Newcastle Sixth Form.
“I want to do something to do with history, and am going to Newcastle Sixth Form to study A Levels in classics, history, English language, and dance and theatre studies.
“My family will be really proud, as the results are everything I wanted.”
Headteacher Elizabeth Hayes said: “It’s the second-best year ever for the school. I’m absolutely thrilled to bits with the results.
“English has gone up 20% from last year, and maths 8%. There have been lots of outstanding individual performances.
“Every single person got a qualification, for the first time. I’d like to congratulate the students, staff and parents who have supported them.”
South Shields Community School, based in Nevinson Avenue, recorded another “fantastic year”, according to headteacher Mark Midgley, after 62% of pupils achieved at least five A* to Cs, with 45% of those including English and maths.
Head boy Adam Clark and head girl Emma Waldron are both off to study for their A Levels at St Joseph’s Sixth Form, based on Mill Lane, Hebburn, after results of one A*, six As and two Bs, and six As, two Bs and two Cs, respectively.
Adam, who wants to study journalism at university in the future, said: “I’m pleased, because I was worried about one of the subjects. I got an A* for English literature.
“The family are pretty delighted with it, and I’m really looking forward to study for my A Levels in government and politics, English literature, sociology and history.”
Emma, who will study for A Levels in English literature, history, geography and PE, said: “The results were more than I could have asked for.
“I passed a language (French), which I wasn’t expecting to do. That’s the one I was most worried about.”
Another with outstanding results was Katie Rose Coverdale, with four A*s and four As.
She will now go on to study accountancy, but is unsure where she will go next.
She said: “I’m really happy and really relieved. I’ve got a couple of options now about where to study.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here. It has been stressful, but that was always going to be the case.”