Students arrived at Harrogate Grammar School to collect their A level results from as early as 8am today.
The excitement was palpable in the bustling school hall as letters were handed out and ripped open.
Teachers and students hugged each other as another exceptional year of results at the school were revealed.
Most of the students had already looked online before arriving at the school to check if they had been offered a place at their preferred choice of university. But their exam results remained a surprise until they got to school.
Josh Manby, 18, gained an A* and two As. He said: “The tension was somewhat lessened by the fact that we could look on the internet to see if we’d got our choice of university. I got the London School of Economics, which was my first choice, to read Economics and Government.”
His friend Harry Brook-Dobson, 18, got two A*s and an A, and plans to apply to Cambridge after taking a gap year to go travelling.
Joel Flynn, 18, got four A*s and an A in Economics, which he said he would ask to be re-marked as it was usually his best subject. Despite this, he has been offered a place at Cambridge to read Economics. He said: “I couldn’t sleep for ages last night because I was really nervous but eventually slept from 3am to 6am and then got up to check online.”
Jonny Gurney, 17, was one of the very few students who arrived at the Grammar School not having already checked online to see if they had got their choice of university.
He said: “I just wanted to get my results first. I wanted to come in and know what grades I had.”
He was ecstatic to find out that he had passed three STEP papers - the entrance exam to study Maths at Cambridge - and had been offered a place at the university.
Emma Holden, 18, cried tears of joy after receiving better grades than she had expected, two As and a B. She will now go on to her first choice university of Sheffield to read psychology.
“I expected a C in psychology and got an A,” she beamed.
Her friend Ellie Harrington, 18, was offered a place at Leeds University to read Biological Sciences after gaining an A* and two Cs.
“I was sure I was going to fail,” she said.
“I’d checked on the internet beforehand. It’s good to be able to do that because it gives you a clue whether you did well or not.”
Deputy head Kirstie Moat said the first students had arrived at the school at 8am and the morning had been a “complete rollercoaster” since then.
“You see the students crying and you don’t know if they’re happy tears,” she said.
“So much rides on the results for them, and you know how hard they’ve worked. It also signals the end of their time at school so it’s very emotional.
“The kids are fantastic, they rush to tell you their results and give you hugs.”
Triplets Tom, Jack and Sam Mitchell, who received phenomenal results in their GCSEs last year, also arrived to find out how they had done in their AS levels. The three of them gained four As each.
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