GCSE results: Peterlee's St Bede's marks its best year ever for grades
The school's 131 candidates returned to the Westway school today to collect their GCSE grades, with 64% of the students achieving A* to Cs in English and maths.
The Catholic comprehensive is also delighted at the outcome of its Progress 8, which is a score calculated on eight subjects taken at GCSE; English and maths, which receive double points, three EBacc subjects, and three additional subjects.
Executive headteacher Brendan Tapping said: "Our school gained a positive Progress 8 score using the government’s new criteria for measuring schools performance which means that our students have made more than the expected progress during their time at St Bede’s.
"Many of our students did extremely well, achieving top grades.
“This is a very positive set of examination results which reflects the hard work and support of students, staff and parents.
"Congratulations to all our students in Year 11 and we look forward to welcoming many of our students back to our Byron 6th Form next year.”
Among the school's top performers was Ellie Dawson, from Murton, who gained six A*s, three As and two Bs.
She, along with friend Alex Livingston, plans to become a doctor.
Ellie now plans to study biology, chemistry, physics and maths or further maths at Durham Sixth Form.
She said: "I'd like to go into obstetrics and I've always wanted to do it.
"I was over the moon with my results, I'm so relieved.
"I've done better in some subjects than I thought."
Mum Ashleigh, 40, a medical secretary, who is also mum to Erika, nine, was on hand to offer support when the results were issued.
She said: "I'm absolutely delighted, she worked so hard for them and I couldn't ask for any more.
"I hope she has a brilliant career once she's left school."
Alex, from Seaham, gained six A*s, four As and a B and plans to go on to Byron Sixth Form College at St Bede's to take biology, chemistry, maths and history.
She said: "I want to do medicine and I'd like to do paediatrics because I like children and I already work with them because I'm a leader at Dawdon Cubs.
I was shocked and was surprised with myself.
"I got more than I thought, so I'm happy."
Alex was accompanied to the school by parents Deborah and Jason.
"We're extremely proud," said Deborah.
"All the work that she's put in, it's been phenomenal."
Jason added: "It just proves that it you put the work in, the results will come."
Triplets Lucy, Annie and Thomas Wright, from Bishop Cuthbert in Hartlepool, were also collecting their grades.
Lucy got an A*, three As, three Cs and two Bs and plans to go to Hartlepool College of Further Education to study a diploma theatrical and media make-up stage and beauty.
Annie got two A*s, four As, two Bs and a C and plans to study art, product design, history and sociology at Byron.
Thomas collected two A*s, two As, two Bs and three Cs and also plans to stay on and study history, geography and sociology.
The exams were extra tough for Annie and Thomas, who suffered from tonsillitis at the time.
Mum Jane, 45, said: "We're just so proud, they've worked really hard and put lots of effort in.
"We also want to thank the school, who really looked after them and made sure their journey through school went so smoothly."
Jeff, 54, added: "I'm very proud of them."