Eighteen-year-old Ceri Foster, from Newmarket, who two years ago was one of the best- performing GCSE students in the country achieving 10A* and two As as well as a special qualification in maths, equivalent to an A-level, has had continued success at A-level.
The former Newmarket Academy student, who went on to study at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, got A*s in maths and chemistry and three As in further maths, physics, and her extended project qualification, as well as an A in AS-level French and is now heading to Durham University to study chemistry.
Ceri’s achievements are all the more remarkable considering the struggle she had to survive when she was born. Her proud parents, Gordon and Gayle, called their daughter their tiny miracle, because she was born 15 weeks premature weighing less than a bag of sugar. Ceri spent the first seven weeks of her life in an intensive care unit and on a ventilator and it was 16 weeks before her parents could finally bring her out of hospital to their Duchess Drive home just over a week after her original due date.
The former Ditton Lodge and Scaltback Middle School pupil has always been very modest about her achievements but said she was delighted with her A-level results and was now looking forward to her next four years of study at Durham.
Newmarket Academy, which last month was celebrating its ‘good’ rating from Ofsted, had even more reason to celebrate on Thursday with 69 per cent of its A-level students achieving coveted A* to C grades, up 13 per cent on last year.
And the percentage getting A*-E pass rate also increased to 99 per cent.
Academy principal Nick Froy who, following May’s inspection, had been praised for his effort to develop an atmosphere where pupils had high expectations of themselves, said the results were ‘testament to students who, as a result of their sustained hard work and support from their teachers, have secured places in some of the most prestigious universities in the UK’.
And Newmarket MP Matt Hancock added his congratulations: ”These excellent results on the back of their recent good Ofsted rating means that the school is most definitely on an upward trajectory. It’s wonderful that everyone’s hard work had been so well rewarded,” he said.
Notable successes included Fiona Lockwood, who got As in history and psychology and a B in English literature; Lauryn Ward, who got an A* in sociology, a B in geography and double distinction * in business will be studying for a business degree at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge where she will be joined by Hannah Cook, who got an A in sociology, B in psychology and C in English literature and will be studying sociology. Kieran Hawkins will also be heading to Anglia Ruskin to study sociology and criminology while Ross Jarvis who is going to Lincoln University to study oceanology.
Mr Froy added: “In addition, students of sociology, history, sports studies and travel and tourism excelled.
“We were also thrilled with the outcomes of our Extended Project which we entered for the first time this year.”
Former academy student Emma Rooney, of Exning, who studied for A-levels at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, got an A* in maths, and As in further maths, physics and computer science. She is heading to the University of Exeter to study computer science and maths.
Mildenhall College Academy has seen its overall pass rate rise for the third year running with 99 per cent of the 99 students who took A-levels or applied general qualifications passing, against 98 per cent last year, though the percentage achieving A* to C grades dropped from 75 to 62 per cent.
The stars include two who have coped with illness during their courses. Jack McConnell passed all his A-levels despite coping with a serious medical condition which necessitated him spending long spells in hospital. He got a Bs in media studies and history and a D in music so he can now consider taking up a university place while Bethany Field who, while studying for her A-levels was diagnosed with a medical condition that caused her to black out still managed to achieve a B in sociology, C in philosophy and double distinction star in health and social care. She will be taking up a place at the University of East Anglia to train as a social worker.
James Morton achieved four grade As in mathematics, physics, design and technology product design, and Extended Project Qualification. He plans to read civil engineering at the University of Birmingham. Head boy, Xavier Letimer, got an A in physics and Bs in maths and chemistry and will be studying chemical engineering at Queen Mary University in London.
Natasha Buckingham-Redman got the highest BTec grade, a triple distinction star, in health and social care and will study social work at University of Suffolk.
Katherine Beer plans to work for a year before taking up a place at Leicester University. She has a double distinction star in health and social care, a distinction star in applied science and a C in psychology.
Ines Silva has a place at Bournemouth and will be studying to become a nurse.
Principal Sue Byles said: “The students who have taken applied general courses have once again surpassed themselves and our A-level cohort has done extremely well especially as they are the first year group to sit the reformed examinations.”
At Ely’s King’s School 36 per cent of all A-level grades achieved were A* or A, 66 per cent were graded A*-B, 84 per cent were graded A*-C and 98 per cent of all students achieved A*-E.
The number of students who achieved A* grades also increased to 15 per cent this year.
Yinni Hu and Hattie Pinto achieved the grades they needed to study at Cambridge and Oxford. Yinni’s two A* grades and an A grade secured her place at Somerville College, Oxford, to read philosophy, politics and economics while Hattie is heading to Jesus College, Cambridge to read philosophy after getting three A*s and an A.