Success for Blyth A Level students

Principal Gwyn Evans with Joe Woods.
Principal Gwyn Evans with Joe Woods.

A teenager from the county has become the first student at a Northumberland academy to get into Oxford University.

Joe Woods, 18, chose to join Bede Academy in Year 9 after being impressed by its facilities and now the school has repaid his faith by supporting him to achieve a place at St Peter’s College to read chemistry.

Ashleigh Charlton as Christine Daae.

Ashleigh Charlton as Christine Daae.

The former head boy who runs with Blyth Running Club gained an A* in maths, including scoring 100 per cent in three papers, and A grades in further maths and chemistry.

Principal Gwyneth Evans said: “Joe thoroughly deserves this. There were a number of occasions when I saw him leaving the academy after 7pm because he’d been doing extra work.

“He has the foundation of self-motivation and determination that he needs for Oxford and we are absolutely thrilled for him and his parents who have supported him throughout.”

After deciding he would apply last October, the academy arranged for Joe to have mock interviews with the Principal of Emmanuel College, Gateshead, and to meet an Oxford PhD student before he went to the city for his interviews.

He said: “I worked pretty consistently until Christmas when I stayed back a lot to do extra work on top of homework, especially during the exam period. I revised for several hours a day but always had a break to do some sport or go running.”

Joe’s success has come in only the second year of full A level courses at the academy.

Staff also celebrated the success of former head girl, opera singer and musician Ashleigh Charlton, who was a regular star of academy productions and events. She gained As in history and music and a B in English literature and will read music at Durham University.

Ashleigh, who plays five instruments, came very close to gaining a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London, going up against 500 international students, many in their 20s, when she was just 17.

Miss Evans said: “Ashleigh has impressed everyone in the academy and many others from outside, including musicians who’ve come from London to teach extra lessons for us. She has shown complete dedication and I’m sure will have a successful career in opera.

“She has been a wonderful role model and an inspiration to younger students and has given a lot of her time to help them.

“We’re very proud of her and she will be hugely missed.”