A-LEVEL RESULTS 2022: Watch Sunderland's St Anthony's and St Aidan's Catholic Sixth Form students overcome Covid to be top of the class

Students at St Anthony’s and St Aidan’s Catholic Sixth Form Academy have been celebrating a bumper set of A-Level results after pupils sat their exams for the first time in three years since the onset of the Covid pandemic.

Despite the disruption of Covid, a third of the Sixth Form’s girls attained A and A* grades, 55 per cent scored A*-B and 80 per cent achieved A*-C grades.

22 per cent of boys attained three or more A and B grades while 26 per cent scored A and A*s.

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While the schools operate a joint Sixth Form they receive separate results as two exam centres and headteachers Glenn Sanderson and Catherine Hammill were “delighted” with the results in light of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Mr Sanderson said: “We are very pleased with the results which are very good following the challenges of Covid and many of our students are off to Russell Group universities.

"The results are more remarkable when you consider due to having their GCSEs cancelled, it was the first time students have sat external exams since taking their SATs in Year 6 and as such, there was a lot of nervousness this morning.

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"Many students have done better than they expected and what has really shone through is the resilience of the boys and girls.”

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Josita Kavitha Thirumalai, 18, has secured a place at the University of Oxford. Picture by FRANK REID

It was a sentiment shared by Mrs Hammill who added: “It looks like our results have actually improved slightly from pre-Covid, which in the context of the last three years is an even bigger achievement. Even this year there has been a lot of online-learning and and there was disruption around Easter due to Covid absences.”

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One of the Sixth Form’s top performing students was Josita Kavitha Thirumalia, 18, who secured a place at the University of Oxford after attaining straight A grades in History, English Literature and Theology and RE.

She said: “I didn’t expect it and was really happy. It has been a difficult last three years and I was really nervous having not sat external exams since my SATs and the whole situation really affected my mental health.”

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Also pleasantly surprised by his results was John Hariss, 18, who achieved two A*s in Geography and Maths, an A in Chemistry and is set to study Geography at Loughborough University.

Byron Richardson, 18, achieved straight A grades despite suffering from long Covid. Picture by FRANK REID
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He said: “I was really nervous last night and was looking at back-up plans in case I didn’t get the grades. I was relieved when I opened my results and saw I’d done better than expected. Covid meant the build up to the exams was much more difficult than I expected.”

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It was a similar sentiment expressed by Byron Richardson, 18, who scored straight As in Spanish, Biology and Maths and has secured a place to study Spanish at the University of Edinburgh.

He said: “I got Covid this year which developed into long Covid which meant I was tired a lot of the time which made it difficult to catch-up. I’m really proud of how I’ve done and overwhelmed when I opened my results.”

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Daisy Neil, 18, was surprised by her A-Level results. Picture by FRANK REID

Daisy Neil, 18, who attained straight As in Geography, Maths and Further Maths, added: “I thought I’d done badly and so was pleasantly surprised when I saw my results. I found the online learning difficult which makes my results an even bigger achievement.”