THERE were smiles all round at Ridgeway School yesterday as students ripped open their envelopes to read their A-Level results.

Once again this year, students improved on last year’s achievements, with many being accepted to the course and universities of their choice.

Many students also did better than they expected to, like Alyce Hunt, from Chiseldon, who did not make plans for when she completed her A-Levels because she did not expect to make the necessary grades after failing her mocks.

But after achieving ABC in her courses, media studies, English literature and English language, and psychology, she is now reconsidering her options.

The 18-year-old said: “I was expecting a BDE and so I didn’t bother applying for university because I didn’t think anybody would want me.

“I saw all the stress all my friends were going through while they were applying and I just thought there wasn’t a lot of point going through that if I didn’t really stand a chance.

“I’m just overwhelmed with the results. I’m going to spend the year doing some volunteering I think and think about going next year.”

Sebastian Pease, from Wroughton, was another student celebrating success after securing his place to study maths at Oxford with three A*s.

During the past year, the 18-year-old spent many sleepless nights worrying and preparing for his exams.

He said: “I have been really worried, especially after some of the exams. I’m really pleased with how I’ve done and obviously I’ll be going to Oxford, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Others, like Charlotte Leigh, from Broad Hinton, who will go on to read medicine at UCL, came top of the class when she secured three A*s and an A grade.

“I am very happy,” the 18-year-old said. “It feels a bit surreal at the moment to be honest. I wasn’t expecting to do this well, I needed three As for UCL but I wasn’t expecting to get A*s.

“I really find that people are the most interesting thing to study. Everyone is so different and so complex and I find that fascinating, and really want to learn about the differences and how I can help them.”

Steve Colledge, head teacher at The Ridgeway, was exceptionally proud of what the youngsters had achieved this year.

He said: “We have been delighted that despite concerns over grade adjustments our students have continued to do well. We have seen many happy students today who have achieved the place at university they desired or what they required for their next step.

“We congratulate all our students who have contributed so much to the life of the school and worked so hard to achieve.

“As always we would recognise the success across a broad range of ability from those who have gained many A* or A grades and going on to study at Oxford or another Russell Group university and those who have flourished to achieve beyond what they first thought they could.”