A-level joy at Sunderland's Southmoor Academy

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Students were jumping for joy as they collected their A-level results from Southmoor Academy today.

The Sixth Form, in Ryhope Road, saw 80% of entries gaining A*-C grades and almost one in four students gaining three of the coveted A* to B marks.

Students Michael Beattie, Beth Cutting, Andrew Galloway, and Adam Liddle, celebrate their A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Students Michael Beattie, Beth Cutting, Andrew Galloway, and Adam Liddle, celebrate their A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

As a result, seventy-nine out of 84 leavers will now be heading to university this autumn, while more than a third of these will join top Russell Group institutions.

Headteacher Stephen Garrett said: "We know that this is an exceptionally strong performance which means that we really have arrived as a Sixth Form, but what is most pleasing is the range of individual success stories.

"These are young people whose life opportunities have been transformed by our new Sixth Form."

Among the many successes are Adam Liddle (3 A*) who will be taking a place at Cambridge University to study Natural Sciences, Brandon Smith (2 A, 1 B) Glasgow University Veterinary

Students Michael Beattie, Beth Cutting, Jack Udale, Andrew Galloway, and Adam Liddle, celebrate their A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Students Michael Beattie, Beth Cutting, Jack Udale, Andrew Galloway, and Adam Liddle, celebrate their A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Science, Beth Cutting (1 A*, 2 A) University College London Biomedicine, Jess McMahon (A*, A, B) Biomedical Science at Durham, Andrew Galloway (3 A) Biomedicine at York University and Michael Beattie whose fantastic success with 2 A*, an A and an A* in EPQ means that he has changed his plans in order to apply to Oxford University next year.

Sammy Wright, Head of Sixth Form, said: ‘We are delighted with the A level results but it is also worth noting that all our pupils have achieved so much more than their academic qualifications.

"Freya Rayner is of particular note (gaining grade A and B) as well as being a hugely talented swimmer who just missed out on Olympic qualification for 2016.

"Such is her commitment that she has been able to maintain her strenuous training regime whilst completing A-levels with us."

Students collect their A Level results at Southmoor Academy Sixth Form.

Students collect their A Level results at Southmoor Academy Sixth Form.

Freya has accepted a rare place at Ohio State University with a fully sponsored swimming scholarship.

Jack Udale, who tragically lost his mum Lynn earlier this year, bravely battled on to gain three A grades and a B, winning him his first choice of studying natural sciences at Durham University.

He said: "I'm just absolutely delighted with my results."

Laura Stokes, gained two A* grades, an A and a B, and will be studying fashion photography at Leeds University. Laura, from Grangetown, who has been a pupil at SOuthwmoor since she was 11, did far better than she had expected.

Student Brandon Smith after collecting his A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Student Brandon Smith after collecting his A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

She said: "I'm over the moon, I only needed two Bs and a C to get into Leeds and I didn't expect this at all, I didn't have any confidence at all."

It was a fitting present for her mum Tracey, who works as a dinner lady at the school, who celebrates her birthday today.

Tracey added: "It's a fantastic school. All the teachers are very friendly, but they work them hard."

Southmoor Academy Trust CEO Dr Phil Ingram added: ‘When the Sixth Form was opened three years ago we had a very clear aim.

"We wanted to get our students the top grades in gold standard qualifications so that they could compete with other young people in more privileged regions.

"I am delighted to say that this is exactly what we are doing but we haven’t finished yet, our goal is to offer entry to top universities and professions for all students in the area, regardless of the school which they attended.

Students collect their A Level results at Southmoor Academy Sixth Form.

Students collect their A Level results at Southmoor Academy Sixth Form.

"It is great to know that we have begun to make a difference.’"

Student Jack Udale celebrates his A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Student Jack Udale celebrates his A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Student Laura Stubbs with her A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Student Laura Stubbs with her A Level results at Southmoor Academy.

Students collect their A Level results at Southmoor Academy Sixth Form.

Students collect their A Level results at Southmoor Academy Sixth Form.