AN academy is toasting the success of its first female student achieving a place at prestigious Oxford University.
Stephanie Cullum has made history at Bede Academy, in Blyth, and will read biology after gaining A*s in biology and chemistry and two As in mathematics and the Extended Project Qualification in today’s A Levels.
She follows Joseph Woods, the academy’s first student to go to Oxford University, who gained a place to read chemistry at St Peter’s College two years ago. Joseph has since been back to Bede to inspire students to aim high and be motivated by his success.
Stephanie has led a top ten of female performances at Bede, where half of all the A Level results were at grade B or higher. The 100 per cent pass rate in BTEC subjects included 92 per cent at distinction.
“I felt quite calm this morning, I don’t think it had really sunk in that today was finally results day,” said Stephanie, 18, of Blyth.
“I did have a peek online before I opened my results and saw that I had been accepted. My mum and dad were so happy and just started jumping up and down around the house.
“I only applied for an Oxbridge place two weeks before the application deadline, just on the off chance, so I’m ecstatic to have got in and hopefully as the first girl from Bede to secure an Oxbridge place I can blaze a trail for other students here at the academy to follow in the future.”
Dad Peter added: “This fantastic achievement really reflects all of Stephanie’s hard work over the past two years and the fantastic support that she has received from the teaching staff at Bede Academy.
“She is the first in the family to go to an Oxbridge university and we are all exceptionally proud of her.”
Three of the girls, and one boy, are heading to Durham University – Elenore Gibson will study ancient and modern history with two As and a B, Kirsty Routledge will read geography, Neave Herridge will study theology and religion, both having gained two As and a B, and Lewis Dunsmure will read law after securing one A*, two As and a B.
Laura Strachan, who achieved four B grades, will read English language and linguistics at York St. John University.
Rebecca Douglas, who gained three Bs and will study nursing at Leeds University, led a number of students opting to pursue a medical career, with Lucy McVey going to Northumbria University and Alisha Long also going to Leeds to study midwifery.
Northumbria University will welcome at least three more girls from Bede – Robyn Gregory studying applied sciences, Keera Tate on the fashion communication course, and Erin Scott to read geography.
Principal Gwyneth Evans said: “We are delighted with this year’s results which are just reward for the tremendous work put in by students and their teachers, with the support of parents.
“Over the years we have seen enormous strides in the ambition and aspiration of our students and their appreciation that effort and determination brings rewards. It’s wonderful to see how that now translates into some outstanding results and amazing opportunities for their futures.”