A-LEVELS: The Northumberland Church of England Academy, Ashington

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Students at The Northumberland Church of England Academy in Ashington are celebrating today after achieving more top grades than ever before.

Academic performance improved for the third year in a row with students at the Academy’s sixth form, JBVI, achieving a record number of A* to B grades.

Elizabeth Ward, Alanya Wilson, Aaron Hart, Erin Richardson-Hogg, Molly Common and Natasha Armstrong

Elizabeth Ward, Alanya Wilson, Aaron Hart, Erin Richardson-Hogg, Molly Common and Natasha Armstrong

Vocational results were also outstanding with nearly 90 per cent of outcomes graded as distinction star or distinction.

The Sixth Form achieved a 99 per cent pass rate for the fifth consecutive year.

Delighted students are now accepting their university offers and will be able to start planning to begin the next stage of their academic studies.

Elizabeth Ward has an offer to study veterinary medicine and surgery at the University of Nottingham. She was one of just 155 students to be offered a place from over 1,400 applicants on the course, considered one of the best of its kind in the country.

She said: “It still hasn’t really sunk in. I’ve wanted to be a vet for as long as I can remember, so I’m really pleased to have been offered my first choice place.”

Meanwhile, Erin Richardson-Hogg has been accepted onto the business accounting and finance degree at Newcastle University.

“I’m really pleased, especially with my A in economics,” she said.

“The course sounded like a great combination of academic study and work experience and it will be great to get paid while studying too.

“The application process was tough and the university was not just looking for grades. They also asked about your hobbies and work experience. The opportunities I have had at sixth form, such as developing my music and volunteering abroad in Botswana were great things to be able to talk about too.”

Also a step closer to her ambitions is Molly Common, who is going to the University of Cumbria to study professional policing.

Molly, who recently won a silver medal in the UK National School Judo championships, achieved the top double distinction star grade for her Btec in Sport.

She said: “I’m looking forward to starting the course and will be able to continue my Judo at the university too.”

Danielle Towers, head of JBVI, said: “We are delighted that academic performance improved for the third year in a row and to see more students achieving the top grades.

“The hard work and commitment of the students has been rewarded and the staff are very proud of their achievements. We wish them all best for the future as they embark on their next stage in their academic careers or enter the world of work.”