Students who have juggled high academic achievements with other talents were among those to celebrate top marks at one Washington school.
Around 215 pupils from St Robert’s of Newminster Catholic School in Biddick Lane collected their GCSE results.
Headteacher Dean Juric: “We are so pleased that our students’ hard work has been rewarded today with some fantastic results at all levels, across all subject areas.
“We have seen a large number of top 8 and 9 grades awarded to students in the newly reformed English and maths GCSEs, as well as excellent pass rates across the board.
“Well done to all students.”
Among those to be among its best performing students was Matthew Phillips, from Castletown, who gained 9s in maths and English language, an 8 in English literature, A*s in geography, RE, chemistry, PE and further maths and As in biology, French and physics.
We are so pleased that our students’ hard work has been rewarded today with some fantastic results at all levels, across all subject areas.Dean Juric
He is to return to the school’s sixth form to study A-levels in maths, further maths, physics and PE.
In addition to his studies, Matthew is preparing to head to Rotterdam next month, where he will complete in the under 20s GB triathlon team.
He said: “I was really nervous when I was opening them, but I’m elated now.
“I’ve spoken to my dad and he’s really happy as well.”
He said both this father, Gareth, and mum Jackie were delighted with his results.
Grace Curtis, from Houghton, was another student to gain a 9 in her English and Maths results, along with A*s in history, science, French and PE, with a B in art.
“I was ecstatic and really pleased when I saw them,” said Grace, who is also staying on at the school’s sixth form to take A-levels in history, physics and maths.
James Zahra, from Blackfell, also got a 9 in his maths, with another top grade in further maths, an 8 in English and A*s in history, geography, RE and additional science, with As in science, IT and French.
He has his eye on a career in engineering and plans to study maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
“I’m happy and content,” he said.
Mum Natalie, 34, added: “I was nervous because he was nervous, but I knew he was going to do well.
“The grades are absolutely amazing and I’m really proud of him.
“He’s put in a lot of hard work and that has paid off in the end.”
Emmet O’Leary, from Fatfield, gained 9s in maths, both English subjects and A*s in computer science, geography, RE, biology, chemistry, physics, French and further maths - the same results gained by fellow student Alexander Moorhouse.
Emmet plans to take maths, history and politics at sixth form and is aiming to study philosophy, politics and economics at university.
“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I knew my hard work would have paid off and now I’m quite relieved,” he said.
In addition to his studies, he has represented the school during his years and was also part of its science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) group, which he says helped him in his exams.
His mum Marie, 50, said both she and Emmet’s dad Chris, also 50, were proud.
“He has worked very hard to get these results, from the year he first started the school, so this is five years of hard work and it’s paid off.”
Anna Fairbairn, from Seaburn, is heading to Newcastle Sixth Form to take physics, chemistry, maths and further maths.
She gained a 9 in English literature, an 8 in maths, a 7 in English language, as well as A*s in business, geography, RE, biology, chemistry, physics, French and a B in further maths.
She said: “I was shocked and surprised.”
Megan Robinson, from Bournmoor, is to start sixth form and will take music and maths as well as RE.
She has been involved in music sessions at the Sage in Gateshead and is in Tees Valley Youth Orchestra as well as her school studies.
“I’ve been really busy, so the whole thing is a blue and it’s been really stressful because I was worried I hadn’t done enough revision.”
Matthew McBeth, from Ayton, also collected a 9 in maths, as well as a 6 in English literature and 5 in English language, with an A* in RE, chemistry, physics and further maths and As in geography, biology, French and PE.
Matthew, who plans to study maths and further maths, physics and chemistry next, said: “It was mixed emotions because I got really good results in some and some weren’t as high.
“I’m going on to do the subjects I enjoy, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Sunderland Harrier Eve Quinn, from Moorside, got a 9 in both English subjects, a 7 maths, A*s in history, geography and RE, and As in biology, chemistry, physics and French.
She will return to the school to take English literature, geography and history.
She recently helped her senior woman’s team from her club win silver in the Northern 5k Championship, which was held on Silksworth.
“I was completely shocked, and maths was the first one I saw, which is one I struggled with,” said Eve.
Mum Tania, 47, was on hand to lend support - she has just seen her daughter Elizabeth, 21, collect her first class history degree and son Sam, 18, collect his A-level results in the last few weeks.
Tania said: “She ran out to the car and I could see that she was upset, but I didn’t know whether he was sad upset or happy upset, but then she told me what she’s got.
“She’s done really well and we’re really proud of her.”
Harry Pickering, from Rickleton, is aiming for a career in aerospace engineering and will go on to take maths, physics and chemistry.
He gained a 9 in maths, an 8 in English language and 6 in English literature, with A*s in history, RE, and As in business, science, French further maths.
“I was shocked, but in the best way.
“I was hoping that I was going to do all right, and I knew I would have done, but I was still nervous.”