A-Levels: every spalding high school student gets first-choice university

SLEEP was something A-level students at Spalding High School didn’t get a lot of on Wednesday night – but they needn’t have worried.

Headteacher Tim Clark was delighted to announce every student had achieved their first choice of university.

He said: “It’s brilliant news – and all the credit is down to the hard work of the students and the teachers. They have been a fantastic sixth form.”

Students gathered in the assembly hall at the school in Stonegate for possibly their last time to share the emotional moment when they found out whether all the hard work has paid off.

Among them hugging her mum with shrieks of joy was Jade Rigby (18), who has won a place at Newcastle University to study law with an A* in history, A in English literature, A* in psychology and A in general studies.

She said: “I haven’t slept – I was so nervous. But I’m thrilled with the results. I always wanted to go to university and be a top lawyer - now things are so competitive you have to go to the best.”

For mum Sally Rigby, of Punchbowl Lane, Boston, and nan Winifred Taylor it was a huge relief.

Sally said: “It’s always been law for Jade. For her GCSEs she got 12 As at Boston High School – but she wanted to come to Spalding High School for sixth form because it has such a good reputation.

“The new £9,000 a year fees are daunting – and to think of Jade starting life with all of that debt. But if you want to get somewhere in life what can you do?

“We’ve been saving up for ages, doing overtime – and even have a tin for the food and accommodation fund.”

Another top achiever was Caroline Dormor (18), of Kemp Street, Crowland, who won a place at Cambridge University with an A* in English literature, and As in French and art.

Caroline said: “I’m delighted to get to Cambridge. I really pushed to get the grades I needed – that’s the hardest part.

“In some ways it’s quite a sad day, too, because this is probably the last time we will be together, but we are all ready to move on and excited about the future.”

A place at Durham University awaits Katie New (18) after achieving an A* in English literature and religious studies and As in government and politics and general studies.

Katie, of Casswell Drive, Quadring, hopes to have a career in arbitration or mediation. She said: “I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t got the grades I needed.

“I’m really going to miss everyone from school, but I’m really excited about being able to do something I enjoy.”

The new approach to tougher grading was expected to intensify the scramble for university places through clearing, as more sixth-formers were expected to fall short of the grades they needed.

But Mr Clark said the school had managed to buck the trend with a slight rise on the overall points score on last year.

The 116 students took 434 exams and achieved a 100 per cent pass rate. Only one student failed at general studies.

Fourteen students got three A*s, more than a quarter got an A* and an A and more than 60 per cent got an A* to B.

He said: “Last year the results were solid and this year they are slightly better.

“We are very pleased.”