Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Students say excitement levels ‘through the roof’ after getting A-level results

Students Ben Surtees, Bryony Lucas, James McSaprron and Leonie Rowe check their results on their phones at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, Hampshire (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Students Ben Surtees, Bryony Lucas, James McSaprron and Leonie Rowe check their results on their phones at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, Hampshire (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Students at Peter Symonds College in Winchester have spoken of their high “excitement levels” as they received their exam results despite facing the disruptions of pandemic lockdowns.

John Diedrick, 18, from Winchester, Hampshire, has secured a place to study aerospace engineering at the University of Birmingham having gained A* grades in geography, maths and his Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) with an A in physics.

He said: “My excitement levels are really high, I am just relieved that I have got the grades and I have all the options open to me.

“I am very excited to move out of home and be independent and study a full course on things I am interested in.

John Diedrick, 18, looks at his A-level results alongside principal Sara Russell at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, Hampshire
John Diedrick looks at his A-level results alongside principal Sara Russell at Peter Symonds College (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“I was really worried that I might not get the grades because aerospace is really competitive, it’s just a relief that all the hard work I have done over the past two years has paid off.

“My motivation was low during lockdown, my productivity wasn’t great but when we came back I really got my head down and refocused.

“There were so many distractions in lockdown, online learning was a bit difficult and a lot of people struggled.”

Leonie Rowe, 18, from near Romsey, is going to study classics at Durham having achieved A* grades in Latin, classics and EPQ with an A in history.

She said mock exams had helped her prepare for the exams as her year had missed out on sitting exams for their GCSEs.

The teenager said: “It was hard to begin with as half was online and it was a struggle to make friends but this year got much better and the college has been really helpful, having people to talk to, they even brought in a mini zoo to help us deal with stress.”

On her results, she added: “I am really happy, it’s so nice to have it confirmed and know I am going somewhere in September, it’s a really nice feeling.”

Leyna McQuillin, 18, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, gained a double distinction star Btec in IT and a B in psychology A-level and will go on to study a degree in e-sports at Staffordshire University.

Leyna McQuillin, left, looks at her results on her phone with her mother Michelle McQuillin at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, Hampshire
Leyna McQuillin, left, looks at her results on her phone with her mother Michelle McQuillin (Andrew Matthews/PA)

She said: “I am very happy with my results, I can’t complain as I have my place already confirmed, there were rumours they were marking harshly but I have done alright.”

Ms McQuillin said she struggled to explain her degree choice to her parents’ generation, and added: “I say it’s like the old Pac-Man tournaments where people would compete to set record scores but nowadays it’s with better arcade machines.”

She explained it could lead to a range of career options, including running events, broadcasting and creating competitive teams.

She added: “My excitement levels are through the roof.”

Nikita Howard, 18, from Whitchurch, achieved a distinction in the new T-level of childcare and education.

She said: “It was good experience, it was a half placement so I learned what it would be like in the classroom.”

Nikita Hoawrd, 18, left, and Skye Paterson, 18, share their results for their T-levels at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, Hampshire
Nikita Howard, left, and Skye Paterson share their results for their T-levels (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Skye Paterson, 18, from Winchester, who achieved the same result on the same course and will go on to study education studies and early childhood at Winchester, said: “I really liked it because we did placement and work in the classroom and my teachers were really supportive.”

The pass rate for A-levels at Peter Symonds College this year was 99%, with 40% of the grades awarded being at A* or A.

The proportion of A*, A and B was 67%.

Principal Sara Russell said: “This year group has had an educational experience like no other – the first to have its GCSE exams cancelled, and the first to be asked to sit full A-level examinations, and all sorts of Covid arrangements to navigate in between.

“Against a national drop in A-level performance, we are proud that we have bucked this trend and our students’ grades are as high as last year: indeed, the proportion of A* grades has actually increased, with almost 1,000 securing this top grade.”