Pupils are celebrating a 'terrific' set of A-level results.

Nearly half the grades achieved at the Beaminster and Sir John Colfox joint sixth form were A*-A at A-level or Distinction*/Distinction in Level 3 applied courses.

Keith Hales, headteacher at Beaminster School, said: “Once again our students have risen to the challenge of tougher new courses and come out very well indeed. The wide range of destinations they are heading on to all over the country is very impressive and we wish them all the best for their next adventures.”

There were outstanding individual performances at A-level from Bertie Purkiss, who achieved two A*s and an A; Jack Bradley, who achieved an A*, two As and a B and Amber Thomas, who achieved an A* and two As. Olivia Cooper achieved the maximum of three Distinction* (D*s) in her BTEC Level 3 applied science, Robyn Hill achieved D*D*D on the same course through the Yeovil College Partnership, whilst Beth Pollard achieved a D*D*D* in her health and social care Level 3 extended diploma.

Beaminster head of sixth form, James See, was delighted with the success of students in a year when overall pass rates nationally have been reported as falling. Mr See said: “I am thrilled that 95 per cent of students who applied to university across the joint sixth form have accepted a place at a university of their choice, it’s great news.”

David Herbert, headteacher at the Sir John Colfox Academy, added: “I am delighted that students have been rewarded for all of their hard work. I am particularly pleased to see students going on to such a wide range of next steps, including some interesting apprenticeship opportunities and not just university courses. Students leaving school now have so many more options to consider, and it is great to see our partnership with Yeovil College also opening up new doors to our students.”

And there was huge success at The Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis.

The sixth form's overall pass rate was 99.6 per cent and 47 per cent of entries were graded A*, A or B, with 21 per cent at A*/A.

There were some outstanding individual A-level performances, including Cody Lau, who achieved three A*s in maths, further maths and physics, securing him a place at Cambridge University; Iona Adair, who achieved three A*s in art graphics, media studies and photography and Rumi Thompson, who gained two A*s in geography and politics and an A in classics.

Performance in vocational qualifications was pleasing, with 100 per cent pass rates in all subjects, including business, sport and exercise science and work skills.

A significant number of students who took a gap year were successful in securing university places and will be starting courses at some of the best universities in the country in September. Isabella Brown, for example, is off to Oxford to study classics.

Dr Richard Steward, headteacher of The Woodroffe School, said: As always, I am delighted to celebrate the success of our sixth formers. I am always impressed by the resilience of students who, year on year, manage to navigate the complexities of A-level study to attain outstanding results. It is great to see so many individuals achieving A* and A grades and pleasing to note the consistency in results across all subject areas: for a medium sized comprehensive school in a rural area, Woodroffe offers an excellent range of subject choices at A-level and it is good to see students performing well in all of them. It is particularly encouraging to see top class performance in both the arts and sciences. Despite lots of warnings in the press regarding changes to A-levels and more demanding exam papers, Woodroffe has maintained its record of excellent performance at all levels.

"With constant changes to examination specifications and accountability measures, this has been a difficult year for sixth forms and sixth formers, and it is a tribute to the professionalism and expertise of staff at Woodroffe that students have been guided so successfully through very turbulent waters."