STUDENTS had stars in their eyes at two schools which performed among the best in the country.
The A-level maths students at St Aidan’s RC School got the third highest percentage of A* grades across England.
Of the 20 boys who sat the exam at the Willowbank Road school, eight of them, 40 per cent, clinched the top grade.
And at Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, A-level students featured in the top 10 nationally for the amount of A* grades in three subjects.
For physics, the students took the top slot with 38.1 per cent of the 21 young people who sat the subject gaining an A*, in maths they were fifth with 38.5 per cent of the 52 entrants gaining an A* and in chemistry 25 per cent of the 36 students got the top grade, putting them in sixth place.
The statistics, based on 2012 exam results, come from the Department of Education and the table includes maths, English, humanities, sciences and languages.
Sarb Rathore, head of maths at St Aidan’s, said he was very proud of the achievement.
He said: “It is down to a lot of hard work.
“The school, the maths department and the students have been working very, very hard and our results are going up and up each year.”
Steve McArdle, head of sixth form at Durham Johnston, said although he believes the measure of a good sixth form should be the progress all pupils make from GCSE and not just the proportion of top grades, he is still pleased with these figures.
He said: “We are delighted to see the successes of our students reflected in this latest table.
“These grades are the result of the sustained hard work of our teachers and all of the students in the classes.
“It is just a shame that other similar performances both here and elsewhere are not recognised because the subjects are not included.”
He said on a similar theme of high achieving, 15 of the school’s year 13 students are holding offers from Oxford or Cambridge Universities subject to their grades.