More than 80% of students advanced three levels of progress in English and 73% of pupils made the same progress in maths – all the more remarkable as English is the second language for around 50% of pupils at Excelsior.
In total, 62% of pupils achieved an A* to C grade pass in English and 63% of pupils secured an A* to C pass in maths.
Initial projections for the new Progress 8 measure suggest a score of + 0.6 which is well above the national standard.
Pupils Zarah Mollaie, 16, and 17-year-old Earika Karki are celebrating top exam success, despite both having arrived at Excelsior in Newcastle from Iran and Nepal respectively, speaking little English.
Zahra secured twelve GCSEs, including an A* in Persian, A grades in maths and additional science and a B in English which will help her towards her goal of becoming a dentist.
“When I came to Excelsior in Year 8 I just had conversational English,” said Zarah, who used to live in Tehran. “I’m quite proud of myself to have achieved these results, but I still think there was room for improvement for more As.
“My parents will be over the moon about my science grade in particular. I didn’t think I would get an A, I have moved up this year and they will be so happy.
“I want to go on and study dentistry at Newcastle University – they have a very good reputation in what is a very competitive career choice.”
Earika secured 6 grade A passes including English, maths and additional science. She only enrolled at Excelsior Academy two years ago after moving to Newcastle from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
“My English was not very good, I didn’t understand the Geordie accent at first but I got used to it through my friends I made and that’s how I learned English,” she said.
“I’m very pleased, I wasn’t expecting an A in English at all. I regard myself as an average student but this year I’ve worked very hard – I revised for five hours every day so I think my hard work has paid off.
“Excelsior is an absolutely fantastic school, the teachers are so helpful, they call you after school to help you do your work.” Earika hopes to pursue a career as a brain surgeon.
Both Earika and Zahra intend to stay on at the sixth form Excelsior College.
Other top performing pupils include Chiamaka Jecco-Obi, 16, who secured eleven GCSEs including five As in Spanish, geography, English Literature, English and additional science.
Known as Grace to her friends, she also intends to stay on at Excelsior College before heading to university to study medicine which she hopes will help her become a neurosurgeon.
Excelsior Academy Executive Principal Craig Taylor said: “Collectively, the performance of this year’s student cohort exceeds the high standard established by their predecessors by a significant margin.
“Beneath the headline figures, the individual performances of a whole range of pupils is absolutely astonishing.
“Children who in some cases only joined us two or three years ago with little or no English, have achieved a full range of GCSE A* to C passes which is incredible.
“We are proud and delighted by the performance of our high achieving pupils, but equally thrilling is the performance of those pupils for whom school has not always been such a comfortable and straight forward experience.
“The intensive level of support and encouragement from Excelsior staff has helped them achieve way beyond their expectations.”