Schools across west Dorset are celebrating 'excellent' A-level results after nervous students found out their grades.

At the Beaminster and Sir John Colfox Academy joint sixth form, 21 per cent of the grades achieved were at A* or A, with 45 per cent of the grades A* to B and nearly three quarters of the grades A* to C. The overall pass rate was an impressive 98 per cent.

Adam Teasdale, head of sixth form at the Sir John Colfox Academy, said: “We have known for a long time that this particular cohort of students were extremely gifted and talented - they were an inspiration to students throughout the school. They have been a fabulous group of individuals to work with and we will miss them all.”

James See, head of sixth form at Beaminster School, added: “These results are the product of some very hard work on behalf of the students and teachers. Their mature approach to study and the excellent support of their teachers has been richly rewarded.

“The destinations they are heading onto in the new term are very exciting indeed, including Ben Cantrell’s place on the prestigious degree apprenticeship programme with Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil.”

Students Brian Robertshaw and Thaisen Chant both gained four straight A* grades, with Dahlia Twigger and Ben Cantrell both gaining two A* and two A grades.

Guy Brazier and Thomas Crabtree received A*AA, with Thomas also gaining an A* for his extended project qualification (EPQ). Tim Girling and Eve Appleton Scoot each achieved AAA, with Eve also gaining A* in her EPQ.

Eloise Mathews and Conan Birkett both gained A*AB, whilst Lily Turnbull gained AAB.

Students involved in the Yeovil College Partnership did extremely well, with Ella Kershaw gaining three starred distinctions in her level 3 health and social care qualification and Leanne Pemberton achieving the same top grades in level 3 applied science - the equivalent of three A* grades at A level.

Keith Hales, headteacher at Beaminster School, said: “Academic results were very strong indeed, but I am also extremely pleased with the results from the vocational courses with our partners at Yeovil College, with all our students passing their courses and many of our students exceeding their target grades.”

Mike Hoffman, acting headteacher at Colfox, said: “Students have now confirmed places in many of the best universities in the world. Four students are taking up places to study at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham - 100 per cent of those students receiving offers - and students accepting places at Liverpool, Southampton, Birmingham, Exeter, Cardiff, Kent, Nottingham, Bristol, Bath and Belfast amongst many others.

“The unique features of the joint sixth form are the individual support, built up since many of the students started with us in year seven, and the fresh challenge we offer when making the step up to post-16 study. It remains a clear recipe for success.”

Woodroffe School was also celebrating a brilliant set of A level results, with 31 per cent achieving A* and As, 62 per cent of entries were graded A*, A or B and the overall pass rate was 99 per cent.

Maisie Bellworthy and Tom Gillespie achieved three A* grades, with Zach Chantler and Polly Howarth-Yates gaining two A* and one A.

Morgan Carter achieved two A* grades, Bertie Oldfield, Tristan O’Leary, Ben Plowden and Tom Ure gained one A* and two A grades, while Tristan O’Leary, while Poppy Bailey and Charlotte Chadwick achieved three A grades.

Performance in vocational qualifications was also great, with 100 per cent pass rates in all subjects, including business, sport and financial studies.

Paul Rowe, acting headteacher at Woodroffe School, said: “I am delighted with the success of our sixth form students this year. I am always impressed by the resilience of students who, year on year, manage to navigate the complexities of A level study and 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 so well in all of them.

“Once again students will be leaving Woodroffe to take up places at many of the best universities in the country and I am pleased to say the majority of students met their target grades and secured university places. We wish them well and are confident that they are on course to succeed at degree level.

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