A Hebburn sixth form college is celebrating its students’ “hard work, determination and commitment” to achieving fantastic A level results. St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, is celebrating achieving almost a quarter of all grades at A or A*, or their equivalent.

Headteacher Peter Mitchell said: “We achieved A*, A and Distinction grades across a wide range of subjects. We are very proud of our students, whose hard work, determination, and commitment has been recognised in these results. Especially when you take into consideration that due to the Covid pandemic, these are the first formal external examinations this year group have undertaken. They have also had to cope with the significant nationwide reduction in the awarding of top grades when compared to the previous three years. All things being considered, they have truly showcased their abilities.

There were some significant individual performances from students who managed to achieve three grade As or higher.

Somya Garg, who achieved four A* grades, will be going to Newcastle University to study medicine.

Hannah Jobling, who achieved two A* grades and one A, is heading to Bath University to study aerospace engineering with a professional placement.

Debby Shofowora, who will be going to Lancaster University to study biomedicine, achieved two A* grades and one A.

There were also some exceptional performances in BTEC subjects, leading to a number of Distinctions and Distinction* grades.

These included Matthew Gatens, who achieved two Distinction* grades and is going to study sports science at Northumbria University, and Katie Whyte, who achieved a Distinction* and a Distinction, and is going to study sports coaching at Northumbria University.

We wish all of our students the very best as they leave us to follow their chosen career pathways,” added Mr Mitchell.

The proportion of A or A* grades across England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 27.2%, down from a peak of 44.8% during the pandemic. The fall in grades this year is steepest in England, where 26.5% received the top grade (compared to 35.9% in 2022). In Wales, 34% received the top grade (compared to 40.9% in 2022) and 37.5% in Northern Ireland (compared to 44% in 2022).

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