The nervous wait is over for students across Merton as A-level results are revealed.
Teenagers headed into schools and sixth-form colleges on Thursday, with many learning whether they had achieved the grades needed to land their desired place at university.
Those who miss out face a search for a place through clearing.
We were at Ursuline High School in Wimbledon this morning as students received their results.
Headteacher Julia Waters with happy students at Ursuline High School
The school saw a slight drop in its A* to C grades, down to 80 per cent from about 82 per cent last year, but a slightly higher percentage of pupils achieved A* to B grades.
Teachers highlighted the achievements of four pupils who have achieved the grades they need to study medicine, with one pupil, Emilie Cousins, securing her place at Cambridge with two A*s and two As.
Headmistress, Julia Waters, said: “We are very pleased. We have maintained the high standards of last tear. Over 50 per cent of our students have got into the top 30 universities.”
Nervous students were able to find out from Ucas Track at 8am to see if they are in Clearing.
At Ursuline High School, 13 of 131 students are facing the Clearing process, to find places at universities which might not have been their top choices.
But with the number of universities in Clearing up by a fifth this year, Ms Waters is confident those pupils will find places at good universities.
Just one student, Kim Baldwin, 18, did not apply to go to university this year.
Gaining top marks: Kim Baldwin
Kim said: “I don’t know what I want to do so I thought there’s no point in paying £9,000 a year for something I’m not extremely set on. So I decided to take that stress off my A Levels, see the grades and decide later.”
She has a meeting at Lloyds today today to discuss a writing job at the company.
Friends Liz Smith and Tess McGovern were thrilled to find out they got into their top choices today.
High-achievers: Liz Smith and Tess McGovern
With two A*s and two As, Liz is heading to Bristol University to study Medicine. Tess got two As and a B and will be studying English Literature at King’s College London.
Students at South Thames College in Morden were also celebrating this morning, as the college saw a 96 per cent pass rate.
South Thames College students celebrate results this morning.
Vice principal, Bev Giarraputo, said: “It’s good to know that so many of our students have the results they need to go on to university or work. Watching our sixth formers mature and gain greater focus on their future during their time with us is always a pleasure.
Inspirational 19-year-old Roisin Roberts from Wimbledon achieved BBC grades in drama, sociology and English literature despite her mum being diagnosed with cancer at the same time as she started her A-levels.
Inspirational: Roisin Roberts with her proud mum today.
She received an unconditional offer from the University of Sussex to study drama and theatre studies in September.
Roisin said: “It was a really tough two years but I made a promise to my mum that I’d work hard and get good grades so I was determined to keep it. College was a safe space for me and I had very close bonds with all of my teachers so I could talk to them about work or home life whenever I needed to which really helped. Now I can’t wait for uni.”
Proud mum Linda, who is now in remission, added: “We experienced some very dark days but Roisin has shown a complete commitment to her work and her family at all times. Under the circumstances, she has done so well and I’m exceptionally proud.”
Pupils at independent girls’ day school Wimbledon High saw another year of stellar results, with 85.5 per cent of grades B or above.
Delighted Wimbledon High School students tear open their envelopes.
The pass rate was 100 per cent and 25 per cent of the year group achieved three of more A* or A grades.
Heather Hanbury, headmistress, said: “It is lovely to see the look of relief and happiness on so many girls’ faces. I’m delighted that the vast majority of them have got into their first choice of university, where I know they will continue to make their mark.
“These students have given so much to the school and I wish them all the very best for the future.”
“We know that the period of grade inflation is well and truly over and we’ve entered a period of more realistic grades. This makes the girls’ achievements even more significant.”
A Wimbledon High School spokesman said just three of 72 students who sat A Levels at the school have chosen an alternative route to going to university.
One student is off to the Slade to study fine art, one has chosen a prestigious internship and another has opted for midwifery.
Despite a drop in the percentage of A to C grades at Raynes Park High School, headteacher Phillip Wheatley said he is very pleased by today’s results.
A total of 99 per cent of the 75 students at the school’s sixth form achieved A to E grades, which is a drop in last year’s pass rate of 100 per cent.
Mr Wheatley said the sixth form, which opened in 2010, has more than doubled in size since then and the majority of youngsters are now looking forward to starting at university.
Mr Wheatley said: “We are really pleased with the results because the way we measure success is how many are going to university.
“Everyone has got into university.”
One of those who has secured a place is Weronika Zgoralska, 18, who achieved a B in maths, As in art and product design and a C in media studies.
Weronika Zgoralska collects her results at Raynes Park High School
Miss Zgoralska, originally from Poland, said: “I am really happy.
“I was quite scared about getting my maths grade back because the exam went badly but it was better than expected.”
She will now go on to the University of the Arts in London to study special effects for film and television.
Tafadzwa Hove, 19, will be going on to Kingston University after achieving an A in I.T, a C in media studies and a D in sociology today.
Tafadzwa, centre, with friends Hasan Yesildal, 19, left, and Wasim Yaseen, 19, right.
Tafadzwa, of Westbury Road, New Malden, said his favourite subject was sociology but he would be going on to study business and I.T.
He said: “I wanted to do something practical with a management side.
“I have enjoyed school.”
Harris Academy Merton has announced another year of improved results and a 100 per cent pass rate.
Harris Academy Merton
Top students include Matthew Gavin, who got A*AB and is off to Leeds University to study biochemistry.
Triple-A student Joe Atkinson is heading to Exeter to study geography and Ade Lawal-Solarin, who also got three As, is going to King’s College to study biomedical science.
Seventy per cent of results were A* to C grades, with 15 per cent of grades marked as A* or A.
Ricards Lodge High School pupils achieved 98 per cent A* to E grades in line with the national average and 75 per cent achieved A* to C grades against a national average of 76%.
Rutlish High School has improved in every grade band, with 97 per cent achieving A* to E grades and 72 per cent achieving A* to C grades.
Left to right, Sadaf Rashid, Jess Hazan, headteacher Alison Gerard, Councillor Martin Whelton, Phoebe Bialkowski and Kate Waddicor collect their results at Ricards Lodge and Rutlish sixth form.
Wimbledon College achieved a 99 per cent pass rate, with more than 75 per cent of all results graded A* to C and 20 per cent graded A* or A.
Star pupil James Waghorn achieved three A*s and one A, with three other boys each achieving 2 A*s and 2 As.
A* pupils James Waghorn and Alejandro Gonzalaz with their results
Headmaster, Adrian Laing said: "I would like to congratulate all of the boys on their well deserved results.
"They have been committed to their studies and with the support of their families and teachers have worked hard to ensure such good progress."
Overall, 99 per cent of A Level students in the borough achieved A* to E grades compared with a national average of 98 per cent.
Councillor Martin Whelton, cabinet member for education, said: “My congratulations go to all our young people on their successes which are testament to their commitment and determination that they have shown towards their studies.
"It is also great to see so many now go on to university as they recognise the importance of education in an ever more competitive world.
“In recent years, Merton has introduced sixth forms to many of our schools which has extended the range of opportunities available to our young people in our schools and I have no doubt this will benefit young people across the borough.”
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