Northumberland girls celebrate A-Level success

Students from Church High and Central High Sarah Marshall, Alice Percy-Raine and Naomi Ferguson. Picture by North News and Pictures
Students from Church High and Central High Sarah Marshall, Alice Percy-Raine and Naomi Ferguson. Picture by North News and Pictures

Two leading girls’ schools, Central Newcastle High School and Newcastle Church High School, are celebrating their impressive A level results together this year in preparation for the opening of Newcastle High School for Girls in a few weeks’ time.

An impressive total of 19 girls achieved all top grades at A* and As at Central High, with over 47 per cent of entries from Central High and almost a third of Church High entries achieving all A* and A grades.

There were very strong results across the board including sciences, humanities and the arts; with girls going on to study at top Universities including Oxbridge, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, UCL London, Nottingham, Leeds, as well as our home city Newcastle.

Among the Church High pupils celebrating was bright young artist Alice Percy-Rain, 18, from Alnmouth, who excelled in her art and textiles A-Levels achieving an incredible, A and A* respectively. Thanks to her passion and natural talent Alice will be going onto study textiles and fashion at Glasgow University with the hopes of making her career debut in interior design.

Alice said: “I’m so glad I got the results I needed. I just love picking up fabric and knowing what to do with it and experimenting with different techniques to give the material different textures and looks.”

Reflecting on her time at the school Alice said: “I feel proud to have been a part of Church High School. I joined the school in year nine and have loved every day of it since. I will miss everyone when I move away – all my friends and the teachers who I see every day. Tonight the whole year are going out partying to celebrate our results so I’m looking forward to that, as well as shopping later on today for something to wear.”

Church High psychology enthusiast Sarah Marshall, 18, from Felton, is looking forward to going onto university to study her favourite subject after achieving an A and two Bs in her A Levels today. She will now take up her place at York University to study psychology and hopes to one day become an educational psychologist.

Sarah said: “I found psychology really interesting at A-Level and really wanted to pursue it further so I’m over the moon I can study it now at university. I’ve also loved my time at Church High – I’ve been here since year four and I wouldn’t have wanted to go to any other school because I’ve made so many memories with everyone here, I know them all really well.

While studying for her A Levels despite her rigorous schedule Sarah was able to help others with a trip to Mexico, Sarah said: “I didn’t really have time for too many hobbies this year because I wanted to concentrate on my studies. However, I was able to do charity work in Mexico with M10 – a charity that takes people over to help build family houses. There was a lot of fundraising involved but it was a great experience and something I’m proud to have been involved with to help others in Mexico.”

Multi-talented Beth Gill from Ponteland, who studied at Central Newcastle High School, is an international hockey player and has also been singled out as a potential future Olympic medal winner in kayaking and canoeing.

Her A-Level grades in mathematics, physics and sport/PE Studies where she achieved an A* grade, has also gained her a place at Loughborough University to do sports mechanical engineering which she hopes to combine with her Girls4Gold training programme.

She said: “I’m an international hockey player and I’ve been accepted on Girls4Gold, which is a UK Sport initiative, and the aim is to find girls who can get medals in a sport at Tokyo 2020.

“I’m really pleased, I’ve got the grades I wanted to go to Loughborough; I would like to design things like prosthetics, sports equipment and rowing oars”.

Church High A-grade student Miriam Rabey, 18, from Ponteland, is excited to carry on her studies in the world of business after being awarded a fantastic, two A grades and a B. She will start at Newcastle University in September to study business management.

On the day Miriam said: “Business has always been something that has interested me and I am so happy that I can now go on to university to study it further thanks to the help and support of my teachers. I’ve been at the school since I was in kindergarten and I’ve loved it; it’s hard to believe we’re the last year to leave the school, but the new school will be great and all the pupils have a lot to look forward to.

“The staff really helped us with revision techniques and I was able to work at Waitrose part-time while doing my A-Levels. My shifts were on an evening and Sundays so I could easily manage my time and it gave me a bit of a break.”

Hilary French, headmistress of Central High and of Newcastle High School for Girls from this September, said: “I am delighted with the outstanding achievements of girls from both schools across a wide spectrum of subjects and congratulate all the girls on their excellent results. This is clear evidence that Newcastle High, our new School, is already a beacon of national excellence and a leading girls’ school for the North East region. It is an excellent start and a very strong foundation for our opening in early September”.

“Equally as important as the results themselves, is that we support our girls in realising their ambitions and help them get into the University and course of their choice, many at the top Russell group Universities where competition is fierce, particularly for subjects like Medicine and History. We encourage each girl to follow their passion, and get involved in as many aspects of the school as possible. This set of results is very gratifying and shows the benefits of the breadth and depth our rounded education which we will be taking forward into our new School.”

Head of Church High, Joy Gatenby, said: “I’m delighted, emotional and unbelievably proud of all that our girls have achieved. Today is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work and dedication from our girls and our whole school community.

“Almost a third of all our grades are at the highest level and I’m thrilled that our students have been so successful and will be following their chosen courses at Universities across the country. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish our class of 2014 the best of luck in the next chapter of their lives.

“The breadth and depth of the girls’ success across a range of subjects, from the sciences to arts and Humanities, demonstrates the strengths both our schools have to offer. As we come together as Newcastle High School for Girls, we will truly be a force for excellence in girls’ education and if today is anything to go by, we have a very exciting and successful future to look forward to!”