A determined student put in a top class performance after setting himself a higher bar in resitting his A-Levels to improve upon earlier grades.
Jay Robinson, a stalwart of school productions at Bede Academy in Blyth, celebrated A grades in English literature, history and French, alongside an A* in the extended project qualification (EPQ), after missing out on his first choice university last year with two Bs and a C.
The 19-year-old Blyth resident, who is going on to Newcastle University to study law, said: “This time last year it felt like the end of the world, but today feels amazing.
“I didn’t want to accept the grades I got the first time, so I came back to school to do it all again and the hard work that I’ve put in this year has really paid off.
“I knew that I’d been accepted onto the course at Newcastle University when I checked online this morning, but I had no idea that my grades would be this good.
“I’m genuinely speechless and a bit shaky – it’s been quite emotional.”
Jay’s mum, Tracey Robinson, hopes her son’s achievement can inspire other students who may not have received the grades they hoped for and she credits departing Bede Academy principal Gwyneth Evans with helping her son achieve his full potential.
“I have no words for how happy I am today,” said Mrs Robinson.
“It was very brave of Jay to come back and re-sit the year and I am so proud of him.
“Bede Academy has helped enormously, especially Miss Evans, who has always been there to support him and encourage him not to give in.
“I’d like to thank her for helping Jay become the young man that he is today.”
Miss Evans said: “Jay is ambitious, driven and tenacious.
“He has a wide range of skills and a lovely warm sense of humour, and it is a real delight and a thrill to see that his perseverance and determination has paid off to secure him the highest grades possible.
“Despite achieving very good grades last year, he was determined to raise the bar and he has proved beyond all doubt that hard work really does pay off.”
Sally Dobson, who was inspired by her science teacher grandfather, will do a degree in natural sciences at Durham University after achieving an A* and two As in biology, maths, chemistry and an A* in her EPQ.
She said: “Durham was my first choice university and I’m so happy because that’s where my granddad studied too.”
More than two thirds of students secured their place at university – studying such diverse courses as veterinary nursing, law, medical bioscience, pharmacy, architecture and international business management.
With an overall pass rate of 96 per cent, 36 per cent of all A-levels at Bede Academy were at grade B or better.
Other students achieving top results were Georgia Denholm, Alexander Dodds, Adam Hopper, Louis French, Imogen Pollard, Rossi Allen, Rebecca Orr, Alexander Sanderson-Bell, Connor Graham and Sophie Robson.
Miss Evans added: “I am delighted to see the students getting the rewards for their hard work and moving on the next stage of their lives, whether this is in employment, an apprenticeship or at university.
“I am so proud of the students both in terms of their results, but also their character, as they leave Bede Academy to become the leaders of the future.
“Our young people are, after all, far more than simply their examination results.”