The wait is finally over for hundreds of students across Scarborough and Ryedale as they opened their envelopes to discover their GCSE grades.
It is the first year some GCSE grades have been graded from 9 to 1, with one being the top mark, starting with English language, English literature and maths.
The new system will be adopted by most other subjects by 2019 and eventually all GCSEs in England will be graded using numbers.
Students and staff have been celebrating at Scalby School for being well above the provisional national averages.
A total of 78% of students gained at least five GCSEs at a grade C or above.
Students earning a standard pass in both English and maths came to 77% while 51% achieved a strong pass in the same subjects.
There were some superb individual performances, including 17 students reaching the highest new grade in English or Mathematics of grade 9, which is higher than the A* of former years.
It is understood only a few hundred students have attained grade 9s across the country.
Marin Briggs, James Clifford, Tommy Furness, Sumayyah Kalam, Holly Mawdsley, Jasmine Roper, Nicole Taylor and Rebecca Wake all achieved grade 9s in English and maths alongside at least eight other A* or A GCSE grades.
Jasmine Roper was “over the moon” with her grades and is heading to Scarborough University Technical College to study civil engineering.
Dylan Thompson achieved the equivalent of seven As and two Bs in his results. He said: “I am pleasantly surprised with my result, especially getting a Grade 8 in maths which is down to all Mr Harrison’s support.
"I will be going to Scarborough Sixth Form to study physics, maths, music and computer science and keeping my options open when it comes to deciding a career path.”
Meanwhile, Katy Brearley, Anna Gortzak, Luke Howland, Jess Marton and Max Mortimer all achieved at least 10 grades at A, A* or the new grade 7 or above.
David Read, headteacher of Scalby School, said: “These excellent results and those of other students are the culmination of years of dedicated individual study, skilful teaching and strong parental support.
“It is pleasing that so many students will leave Scalby with qualifications that provide a strong foundation for the next step in their academic or vocational journey.”
St Augustine’s School headteacher, Mark Taylor, has said early indications are looking “really positive” after pupils picked up their results today.
Natalia Pyszynska will go on to study biology, chemistry, philosophy and ethics and maths at Scarborough Sixth Form after achieving top grades including a grade 9 in maths at GCSE.
She said: “I’m very pleased as the results are better than expected. I was shaking when opening my results but I’m glad the hard work has paid off. I’m going out for a meal to celebrate.”
Evie Cook is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her grandad by becoming a pilot in the RAF after picking up her results.
She said: “I have always wanted to become a pilot, after my grandad, so I am going to Scarborough UTC to study uniform public services and music.”
Matthew Walker, who achieved eight A*-C grades and a grade 9 in maths, has already started a process engineer apprenticeship at Hunmanby firm Deep Sea Electronics after leaving school.
He said: “My results, especially maths, are better than I was expecting. I’m also over the moon with my English grade. I’ve decided to go straight into an apprenticeship as I’m better with practical things, as opposed to doing A-levels, and I see this as a long term career for me.”
Mr Taylor, told The Scarborough News: “It’s looking really positive. However we still haven’t got our results in, we’re still waiting on science. I’m really proud of all my students. They’ve worked so hard in the past five years and in particularly this year and worked closely with staff to improve from where they were a year ago.
“We’ve done particularly well in English and maths so we’re really pleased.
"I wish them all the very best with whatever they choose to do, I just want them to do as well as they can and be happy.”
A number of students at Graham School earned high praise including Dominic Cox who opened his envelope to discover his hard work equated to three grade 9s in English Language, English Literature and maths while also getting five A*s and three As.
Dominic said: “I am very pleased. I expected to do well but not this well. Graham School has been through a tough time of late but I can’t thank the staff enough for all their help. They’ve been so supportive and I can’t thank them enough.”
Sophie Jenkin was pleased with two A*'s in geography and religious studies on top of seven A grades, two grade 7s in English literature and maths and a grade 9 in English language.
She said: “I revised every day which consumed my social life, but it’s paid off. I’m going on to study English language, psychology, biology and business at Scarborough Sixth Form.”
New Graham School headteacher Paul Brockwell admitted to being disappointed at this year’s results overall and vowed staff have a lot of work to do to improve for next year’s Year 11 students.
He said: “We have a lot of work to do to over the next year to ensure that our students get the very best education we can provide. In particular our GCSE students only have one year for us to get it right. One of our major focuses for the next academic year will be to improve the outcomes for our new Year 11.
“We need to work as a team to improve the life prospects for the children in our care. The staff are committed to making a difference moving forward, as am I and my team. The children of Graham School deserve better and we will deliver that improvement.”
Scarborough College Year 11 pupils had much to celebrate with more than 20% of all entries graded at A* and a 100% A* to C outcome across all pupils was achieved in no less than 12 separate subjects.
The college’s ‘Value-Added’ score also demonstrated that on average almost an entire grade was added to every GCSE subject for ever pupil beyond their external prediction.
Charles Ellison, headmaster at Scarborough College, said: “We are simply delighted by this year’s tremendous results. They are testimony to a great deal of determined hard work by the pupils and staff over a number of years.
“As a genuinely mixed ability school, we are especially pleased by our continued capacity to bring about such a significant level of academic ‘added value’ which reflects our strong commitment to small class sizes, a broad curriculum, expert teaching and exposure to confidence-building opportunities outside of the classroom.
“The year group is very well prepared to succeed within the rigorous IB Diploma course that awaits them.”
It was another successful year for Ryedale School which obtained an 85% grade 4 or above in English and maths while 67% of students gained a grade 5 or above in the same subjects.
Mark McCandless, executive headteacher at Ryedale School, said: “Our students have achieved a phenomenal set of results this year.
“I am very confident that given this great set of results in which students of all abilities achieved well that our Progress 8 score will be very positive once again when it is calculated later this year.
“I am very proud of our students’ performance and delighted to see their committed approach justly rewarded. I would like to thank students, staff and parents for their hard work in securing such an excellent set of results and I wish all of our students every success for the future.”