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It's just reward for all the hard work put in.

Byline: By Graeme Whitfield

Schools in County Durham have continued their high performances at A-level.

Though final calculations are still being made, the county's pass rate is believed to be around 97.5%, putting it above the national average of 96.6%.

Durham Johnston School managed 11 of its pupils going to Oxford or Cambridge, while Framwellgate School saw eight students getting five grade A passes.

Durham County Council's cabinet member for education Coun Claire Vasey said: "The vast majority of our schools have noted a definite improvement and some have reported outstanding individual achievements.

"The percentage of students getting at least one A-C grade pass in the county increased to 78.5%.

"But most importantly, 95.4% of all students got at least two A-E grades ( which is generally sufficient to get a university place ( and which is up over 4% on last year.

"The results are a just reward for all the hard work put in by our schools and young people who should feel very proud of their achievements and deserve our warmest congratulations."

At St Bede's RC Comprehensive in Lanchester, 99% of the pupils passed two or more A-levels.

Headteacher Maureen Bates said: "This year was an exceptional year, the students have demonstrated an admirable determination and work ethic."

Students at Wolsingham School and Community College were also celebrating after enjoying a successful set of results that saw its pass rate rise by 5.6%. Deputy headteacher Margaret Nealis said: "Our students achieved an excellent set of results."

Seven students at Durham School scored at least three A grades, and twins Meenah and Sameh Eskander each scored A grades in maths and chemistry plus a B in computing.

Barnard Castle boasted a 53% A and B grade rate, and said it had produced particularly high grades in science subjects.

Headteacher David Ewart said: "These are once again very fine results from our young people.

"We are delighted with our top grades but equally delighted with those students who achieved, with expert teaching, far more than they might have expected.

"It is also a huge credit to these young people that they emerge not only with great academic results but with those attributes of music, culture, sport and leadership which are so essential to the future of the nation."

Barnard Castle's success included two Newcastle Falcons rugby players.

Dutch flanker Tim Visser, who was taking his exams in his second language, got one A and two Bs, having spent the last two years at Barnard Castle School following his move from the Netherlands.

Fellow pupil Alex Tait matched the score of his famous elder brother Mathew and scored three A grades in his own A-levels.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2006
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