THERE were tears of joy and relief as students received their GCSE results across West Oxfordshire.
Some had locked themselves in their room for weeks as they frantically revised but on Thursday the wait was finally over.
At Wood Green School in Witney, the doors were opened at 10am and students rushed in to pick up their results.
Zachary Peake, 16, who received four A*s, five As and one B, said: “I am over the blooming moon.
“I locked myself in the house for three months basically to revise. You have to give up your social life if you want to get the grades.”
He will stay on at Wood Green to study drama, history, English literature and film for his A-Levels and then go into acting.
He added: “The long-term goal would be Rada (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts), but that’s a long way down the road.”
Imogen Burgoyne, 16, who received one A and nine A*s, said: “I’m so happy. I just spoke to my mum on the phone and she cried.
“I worked so hard. I probably did too much. I was working ridiculous amounts.”
She plans to study French, German, religious education, history and government & politics at A-Level.
She added: “I’m hoping to study international relations at university. I would love to work at the United Nations.”
Wood Green headteacher Rob Shadbolt said: “I’m feeling very pleased.
“We have got similar results to last year and I think, with quite a lot of confusion nationally, to maintain standards is a real achievement and reflects the huge amount of hard work by the students, staff and parents.”
Meanwhile at Burford School, Yasmin Blackwell, 16, from Milton-under-Wychwood, tearfully opened her results to discover she had achieved seven A*s and four As.
She said: “The wait was just horrible. I worked so hard for it. I’m so happy it has paid off.”
She will attend Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham to study for her A-Levels and hopes to study chemistry at university and eventually become a researcher.
She added: “I find chemistry interesting. It has been my focus all year and it’s the one I worked hardest for.”
Burford School headteacher Kathy Haig said: “We have gone up in every measure since last year and we have bucked the national trend, because our science and maths results were absolutely outstanding.
“Since I became head, my relentless mantra has been that the teachers are here to teach and the children to learn, and these results bear that out.”
David Bell, deputy head at Henry Box School in Witney, said: “We’re pleased that we have had a massive improvement from last year.
“We had 64 per cent of students achieve five A* to Cs including English and maths, which is a large percentage rise on our 2012 figures.
"That’s not only because of the English grading issue last year but it’s because our students worked incredible hard to achieve those grades, with staff support.”
Carterton Community College headteacher Niall McWilliams said: “I’m delighted, but I always think we can do better. I put it down to good teaching, supportive parents and a work ethic from the students.
“But if you ask me to put it down to one thing, it would be raising aspirations, so students now believe they can achieve what they want to achieve.”
The highest proportion of children in Oxfordshire achieving the English Baccalaureate – at least five A* to C grades, including English, maths, the sciences, a language and history or geography – was at Chipping Norton School, with 44 per cent of pupils achieving the standard, just ahead of Cherwell School in Oxford, on 43.9 per cent.
Chipping Norton headteacher Simon Duffy said: “Following some cracking A-Level results, we’re now celebrating some outstanding results by our year 11 students in their GCSE exams.
“Last year the GCSE marking fiasco left students and staff demoralised but this year it has been a pleasure to witness the delight on the faces of students and teachers as they witness their hard work being properly rewarded.”
Cokethorpe School’s headmaster, Damian Ettinger, said: “Very well done to the pupils for maintaining the 100 per cent pass rate and 94 per cent A* to C grades. I’m delighted to see that the number of A* grades has increased and that six pupils have achieved A*s and A grades across the board.
“To staff, pupils and anxious parents I offer heartfelt congratulations and look forward to seeing you all in the sixth form.”
Mother's pride for headteacher
BURFORD School headteacher Kathy Haig had more reasons to celebrate than most on Thursday.
Her daughter Isobel, 16, achieved three A*s, seven As and a B in her GCSEs.
Mrs Haig, 49, said: “From my point of view, there was no pressure on her to do well. She has worked hard. I’m just really proud.
“A lot of staff send their children to Burford. There are six children of staff members in year 10.”
Isobel added: “I’m really happy but also relieved.”
Asked if there was any extra pressure on her, she said: “Not from my mum, but a bit from other people, who were expecting good things to happen.”
Isobel will stay at the school to study history, geography, biology and psychology at A-Level.