Dreams of careers in medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences are on the cards for clever pupils at this South Tyneside school.
There were smiles all round as students picked up their GCSE results at Whitburn C of E Academy today - despite the huge
changes to the examination and grading system.
Students achieved one of the school’s highest ever pass rates, with 80% gaining a pass in both English and Maths and 81% of all grades at C (4) or above.
Alan Hardie, principal, said: “I’m incredibly proud of how our students at Whitburn coped with massive changes to the GCSE examinations.
"The reforms have placed every GCSE student under ridiculous levels of pressure, with well over 20 final exams each in a period of around 4 weeks. For all the flaws of coursework and modules as methods of assessment, they did at least take some pressure off students during the final examination period.
"Well done to all of our students for their hard work and their individual achievements and I’m delighted that the vast majority of them
are now continuing with us in our highly successful sixth form”
Ruby Edmiston, 16, from East Boldon, gained nine, 9s, two 8s and an A* and is now off to the royal Grammar School in Newcastle to study biology, chemistry and maths.
She said: "I burst out crying when I opened my results, I was so happy when I realised I have nine grade 9s.
"I am aiming one day to be a vet."
Alice Casey, 16, from Whitburn was especially pleased to gain three grade 9s, five 8s, three 7s, plus a B, in her GCSEs, after 'struggling' with the exams.
She said: "I found the actual exams a bit of a struggle. I was used to the old style papers and these news ones I thought were more difficult, so I was rather worried as to how welI I'd actually do.
"But I am so pleased with my results. I am off to sixth form now to maths, chemistry, biology and further maths."
Daniel Aiken, 16, from Whitburn, was left bemused after scooping a 9 in RE, plus two more 9s, three 8s, two 7s, two 6s, and an A.
He said: "I really didn't expect to get top marks in RE, that's come as a bit of a shock.
"I did do a fair bit of revision though, so I had hoped I'd done quite well and I'm pleased with my results. I'm going to have a pizza to celebrate."
Reed Smith, 16, from Whitburn, is keeping his career options open after scooping one 9, seven 8s, one 7 and two 6s.
He said: "I'm definitely pleased with my results, I wasn't t entirely sure as to how well I'd actually done.
"I'm going to carry on at sixth form and study A-levels in physics, maths and chemistry."
Jamie McAllister, 16, from Roker, wants to be a doctor and eventually work in pathology.
He gained five 9s, one 8, two 7s, two 6s and one 5.
He said: "I'm really happy all my top grades were in my sciences and maths.
"I feel like I should have done a little bit more for English, as that was my lowest mark, but I've done what I needed to do and I want to focus on the sciences as I want to be a doctor and train in pathology."
Sam Golzar, 16, from Whitburn, is also hoping for a medical career after achieving one 9, five 8s, three 6s, an A and a B.
He said: "I didn't know what to expect to be honest, but I am pleased.
"I am staying on at sixth form to do maths, further maths, chemistry and physics."
Phoebe Lincoln, 16, from Whitburn, is hoping to one day have a job which involves the Spanish language.
She scooped one 9, two 8s, four 7s, two 6s, one A* and one A and will be studying Spanish, English language and geography at St Anthony's Sixth Form.
She said: "I'm really, really, pleased.
"I'm a bit unsure as to what job I;d really like, but I;d love for it to involve Spanish."