The sound of envelopes being ripped open was heard at colleges and academies across the area on Thursday as students received their GCSE results.
At Newmarket Academy 46 per cent of those sitting exams achieved five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths, a rise of two per cent on 2013 figures.
In English, where students sat the new examination style with no course work elements allowed, results rose by 15 per cent to 73 per cent achieving A*-C grades.
“The academy is confident that it will build on this now secure platform to deliver above the national average results in all subjects in 2015,” said Nick Froy, headteacher.
“I am pleased as the school is going in the right direction. We accepted Michael Gove’s Curriculum review this year to include no course work, it was a risk but it has paid off.”
Top performing student was Abigail Rutterford who achieved all A or A*s, including A*s in English Language, History and Maths. Abigail is to go to Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge to study maths, biology, chemistry and physics.
Also excelling was Rebecca Rumsey who achieved an A* in maths and 5 As including French, a result that bears special significance.
“I was so nervous about my results,” said Rebecca, who is to study chemistry, maths, further maths and physics at King Edward VI Sixth Form in Bury St Edmunds.
“The French result is an outstanding achievement as I had to sit three exams in one day due to being ill.”
On hand to witness students receiving their results at the Exning Road academy was Newmarket MP Matthew Hancock.
“It’s very good to see Newmarket going in the right direction. I pay tribute to the students and staff after a difficult year. To improve the English results so sharply is a great achievement,” said Mr Hancock.
A record-breaking number of students achieved 10 or more GCSEs at A* or A grade at Soham Village College, while 61 per cent met the national benchmark of five GCSEs at grade C or above.
“We are delighted that so many of our students have excelled this year,” said Dr Carin Taylor, principal.
“Staff and governors are absolutely committed to providing an excellent education for our students and join me in congratulating the class of 2014.”
Joanna Henry was one of the many success stories at the Cambridgeshire college achieving seven As and A* grades in music biology and chemistry.
The results were particularly welcome news for the 16 year old from Soham with the coming just days after her granddad John Henry died.
“I am just so shocked,” said Joanna, who will now study maths, chemistry, music and either physics or biology at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge.
“I was particularly pleased with my two As in English as I was sure I would get a B so I must have done well in the exam.”
Jack Beaumont was another pupil at the Sand Street college whose results paper was littered with A*, A and B grades.
“The results are a lot better than I had expected as for the past two years I had been predicted Bs across the board,” said Jack, who will now study a business diploma at Cambridge Regional College.
“My best results were the A* I got in maths and the A in English language as I had been struggling with and was only getting Bs in all my classwork.”
While plenty of students at Mildenhall College Academy enjoyed positive results, the overall figure of 40 per cent achieving five A* to C grades including maths and English was below expectations.
“We were expecting them to be around another 10 per cent on top of what we got,” said Susan Byles, principal.
“I can’t tell you how hard the staff and children have worked. It has been phenomenal and these results don’t do them justice.”
Of those to excel at the academy was Ami Buzza from West Row who got five grades at A or above, and a distinction star, the equivalent of an A* in dance. She will now go on and study at The Knights Templar School in Baldock.
“I was not expecting these results at all,” said the 16 year old.
“I was really nervous the night before and I couldn’t sleep properly. I definitely didn’t expect the A star in additional science as I didn’t finish the paper, while I didn’t think I would get an A in drama.”
While Ami will now take their studies further afield, fellow pupil Lucy Cornford will return to the academies newly refurbished sixth-form centre MCA6 next month to take on A-levels in food sciences and nutrition, sports studies business studies and photography, after achieving an A, two Bs and three Cs.
“I am really surprised with my results especially my A in English language,” said Lucy.
“I didn’t fail anything so I have got to be happy with that.”
Twenty students - almost 10 per cent of the year group - achieved all A* or A grades at Bottisham Village College, with 67 per cent of pupils getting five or more A* to C grades including English and maths.