PURE hard work proved to be a winning formula for the country’s top young chemist Caleb Ellis.

Following on from being awarded the individual prize for the most outstanding chemist by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the 16-year-old, of Dalton, near Richmond, secured six A*s, four As and an A in additional maths. He also gained full marks in two of his geography papers.

He will now study A Levels in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry at Barnard Castle School’s sixth form.

“I was a bit worried that I might get a B in Spanish but I could not have asked for more than these results; I m very happy,” said Caleb, who runs cross country and plays rugby for Durham County.

Student Matthew Shovlin, had high praise for his school’s learning support department which worked tirelessly to help him overcome the effects of dyslexia to achieve an A*, six As, including English, a B and two Cs.

“I would be nowhere without them,” said the 16-year-old, of Barnard Castle, who took his exams with the help of a reader and a scribe. “My dyslexia was diagnosed in Year 3 and it was a relief because with support I knew I could achieve my potential. I was soon moving through the sets and plan to stay on at sixth form to study maths, chemistry and physics.”

Champion rider Charlotte Martin enjoyed a clear round with four A*s and 6As. As she prepares to take part in the dressage and showing sections of the Horse of the Year Show in October, last year’s junior national champion in the 18 and under category will also stay at sixth form college to study biology chemistry and maths.

“I’m so relieved to have done well,” she said. “I’ve qualified for this year’s Horse of the Year competition and I would love to win it to follow in the footsteps of my mum Clare.”

Rock musician Maddy Forsyth was banging the drum yesterday as she opened her results to a clean sheet of A*s – 10 in total.

The 16-year-old, of Cotherstone, Teesdale, is a keen drummer and plays in Barnard Castle School Wind Band. She will stay on to study A levels in history, English and French and hopes to work in diplomacy one day.

“When I play the drums I am a bit loud,” she said. “I have to use all my diplomacy skills when everyone complains. I’m over the moon with my results.”

Deputy Head (Academic) Michael Truss said: “I’m thrilled so many of our students fulfilled their academic goals while still enjoying the school’s wider culture of sport, music, art and drama, which combine to help them become such well-rounded young people and citizens of the future.”