A-LEVELS: Duchess’s Community High School, Alnwick

Isabelle Maxwell and Megan Titterington. Picture by Jane Coltman
Isabelle Maxwell and Megan Titterington. Picture by Jane Coltman

Delighted students at Alnwick’s Duchess’s Community High School celebrated a job well done in their A-Levels, with many confirming their places at university after two years of hard work and dedication.

Of the 112 pupils to receive their results, 20 achieved at least two A/A* (or Distinction) grades, while eight achieved three or more.

Martin Murphy. Picture by Jane Coltman

Martin Murphy. Picture by Jane Coltman

In another fine showing at the school, approximately half of the grades awarded were at B or above.

It was an emotional morning for Megan Titterington, who achieved a fine set of results despite having a stressful exam period.

The Warkworth teenager had to have her gallbladder removed after developing pancreatitis, having eaten some chocolate.

Her operation was during her exam period, so she had to sit her final test at home with an invigilator – four days after surgery.

Scott Moffat, Scott Edwards and Benito Varghese. Picture by Jane Coltman

Scott Moffat, Scott Edwards and Benito Varghese. Picture by Jane Coltman

She was worried that this disruption would hinder her results and deny her a place at Durham University.

But she needn’t have worried, because she came out with an A* in history, an A in classics and a B in maths, securing her spot at Durham in the process.

She said: “I am just so happy. I was terrified that I wouldn’t get into Durham and after the operation I kept worrying about it, but I am in and it’s brilliant.”

A delighted Matilda Leng is University of Oxford bound to read philosophy and theology after securing As in English literature and RE and a C in biology. The Eglingham teenager described her performance as overwhelming.

Matilda Leng. Picture by Jane Coltman

Matilda Leng. Picture by Jane Coltman

Among other students to impress was Martin Murphy, who secured an A* in maths, as well as As in further maths, physics and chemistry.

“I am really happy,” said the Alnwick teenager. “I am pleased with the A in chemistry because I found chemistry difficult – so I am delighted with that.”

Martin is going to Durham University to do engineering.

Benito Varghese, from Alnwick, toasted a job well done after finding out that he had achieved an A* in maths, an A in further maths and physics and a B in chemistry.

He said he was really pleased with his efforts and is looking forward to studying mechanical engineering at the University of Leeds.

Courtney Swain scored a hat-trick of As in English literature, history and religious education (RE).

She said: “It feels incredible. I really thought that I had failed my RE, but I am over the moon. I really didn’t expect that.”

Courtney, from Chatton, is heading to Durham University to study English literature.

Sarah Walker was another student to earn a clean sweep of A grades, impressing in maths, further maths and chemistry.

The Felton teenager said she was pleased with her efforts and is looking forward to studying maths at the University of Leeds.

Isabelle Maxwell tore open her envelope to discover that she had As in history and biology and a B in maths.

“I am really relieved,” said the Doddington lass. “It has been a long wait and I convinced myself that I had got a lot lower grades. I am particularly pleased with history.”

Isabelle is going on to study history at Durham University.

Scott Edwards, from Whittingham, was pleased with his results after he landed an A* in maths, an A in further maths and a B in physics, and is going on to study maths at the University of Leeds.

Another to impress was Scott Moffat, who earned three As in maths, further maths and chemistry.

Headteacher Maurice Hall praised the students for their results and thanked his staff for all of their efforts.

He said: “It was a real privilege to see so many of our young people achieve such positive outcomes after all their hard work.

“Students enter our Sixth Form at a variety of levels and it is our aim to make sure that they leave us having made good progress and achieved their individual goals. We have also seen them mature into wonderful young people.

“This year has seen the majority of subjects now being assessed predominantly by exams at the end of the two years. Students have faced large numbers of exams across their subjects and there is no doubt this has increased the levels of anxiety amongst many.

“More than 80 students have applied to universities with others either taking a gap year, taking up apprenticeships or full-time employment. What is a growing trend, both in school and nationally, is the number of unconditional offers given by universities (more than 10 per cent).

“There is divided opinion as to whether these kind of offers help or hinder students in their Sixth Form studies. As always, we have students going to a range of universities including one to Oxford, six to Durham, plus other favourites including Newcastle, Northumbria, Leeds, York and Sheffield. Courses chosen are again varied.

“For so many of our young people to have achieved such impressive results is testament to their hard work and dedication. It also shows the genuine support that parents and the wider community give our students. We wish them every success in their future lives.

“Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues for their continued hard work in supporting all of our students. Over many years, we have had a very positive reputation for providing breadth of experiences and impressive outcomes for our Sixth Form students. We will do everything we can to make sure this continues.”