A headmaster has hailed the outstanding resilience of his A-level students after attaining among the best results ever with more than three quarters of them gain grades ranging from A* to B.
Andrew Allman at Myddelton College in Denbigh he was doubly proud of pupils’ achievements, coming in one of the most challenging years ever.
He said: “Without a doubt the students have been battling against the odds this year.
“The unprecedented environment of the pandemic piled untold extra pressure on schools and students. But Myddelton students have come through it with their heads held high. The results they achieved given these exceptional circumstances are excellent. They responded heroically to all the challenges”
More than a third of 2020 leavers achieved the across the board grades of A and A*.
Among them was Upper sixth student, Pollyanna Reed, 17, of Prestatyn, who took her final exams a year early. She achieved an A* in drama and theatre, plus three As in History, Psychology and English Language.
Her parents, Mike and Viv, and younger brother Nat, 11, were all at the college with her to watch as she opened the letter containing her results.
Mike said: “We could not be more proud. It is a fantastic achievement given the summer we have all been through. What a bright day after so many months when the world has been blighted by the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Viv added: “It is all about Pollyanna today, she has done incredibly well given such difficult times.”
Pollyanna, of Prestatyn, has secured her dream offer of a place to study psychology at Bath University. But she has deferred it for a year and aims to work as a tutor to younger pupils over the next 12 months.
She said: “In the light of the uncertainty of the pandemic it kind of makes sense to leave uni for another year. But it was not that which informed my decision. I’d had it in mind to defer anyway as age-wise I’m a year in advance. This will give me chance to save up a little and head to university with my peers.”
Another student who achieved straight As is Ieuan Gittins, 18, of Dyserth, who is looking forward to taking up his place studying law at Nottingham University.
Ieuan’s mum Eleri could not resist giving him a big hug after he told her his results – three As in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.
He hopes for an eventual career in intellectual property law and is particularly looking forward to spending a year of his four-year university course on an internship in Sydney, Australia.
He said: “I’ve never been to Oz, but then again I’ve never been to Nottingham either, so it’s all going to be one great big new adventure. I can’t wait.”
Two students from overseas who are boarders at Myddelton College and stayed in North Wales to continue their studies during lockdown also did remarkably well.
Albert Gao, of Xianjiang, secured his offer of a place at King’s College, London to read BSc Computer Science, after he achieved three A grades in Further Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics.
Meanwhile, Konstantin Polyanskiy, of Russia, achieved two A*s, an A and a B grade in Business, Economics, Maths and Russian. The results will take him to City University to read a BA in Business Management.
Mr Allman commended their 100 per cent dedication to their study work despite the added worry of having family overseas as the pandemic was at its height in the UK.
He said: “It was undoubtedly an emotional strain on our overseas pupils, worrying about the health and safety of their loved ones while trying to do well in their lessons.
“This year more than any other we’ve been so impressed by the way our students have adhered to Myddelton College’s motto of “scholarship, fellowship and resilience”.
“They have supported each other through the most difficult of times and showed admirable resilience in achieving such fantastic results despite having such unforeseen constraints all around them.”
In all 78 per cent of students achieved grades from A-star to B and there was 100 per cent A* and A grades in the subjects of Drama and Theatre, Biology, Chemistry, Chinese, Russian, and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), with strong performance across the board in all subjects.
Among those who gained an EPQ grade A was Beatrice O’Loan, 18, who wrote a dissertation around the theme of euthanasia.
Beatrice, of Mold, aspires to be an author and is thrilled to have secured her place reading English Literature at Manchester University.
She said: “I can’t wait. I am so thrilled. I’m a real literature addict, particularly Gothic literature. Reading and writing completely rules my life. I’ve already written some poetry under a pseudonym and I love entering writing and essay competitions.
“It has been extra challenging studying in difficult times and having all our lessons move online, but I think coming out the other end with such good results is something we can all be really proud of. Just getting here today is an achievement in itself.”