HIGH achievers at Emmanuel College in Gateshead have celebrated family firsts after securing places at prestigious Oxbridge universities.
Ryan Cunningham and Faye Effard are the first generation from each of their families to go on to higher education.
Faye, 18, of Gateshead, who achieved an A* and two A grades in English literature, biology and religious studies and will read philosophy at Cambridge University, said: “I never, ever thought this would be possible, I am absolutely blown away.
“It still hasn’t sunk in – when I saw my successful application online this morning I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t tell anyone just in case it was a mistake, then when I did call my mam she just screamed down the phone.
“The thought of being the first in my family to go to university is amazing, but to be offered a place at Cambridge is just incredible.”
Ryan, 18, of Wickham, will study English at Oxford after securing two A*s, an A and in economics, English literature, government and politics and Latin.
“My family was chuffed when I went into the sixth form, never mind getting a place at Oxford,” said Ryan.
“I hadn’t even thought about applying until we went on a school trip at the end of Year 11 and it made me realise that I really wanted to go there. It’s been a lot of hard work but its all been worth it.”
Ryan and Faye will be joined at Oxbridge by student Victoria Walls, who gained an A*, two As and a B in maths, further maths, physics and music.
Victoria, whose older brother Alexander is also at Oxford studying music, will read engineering with a view to becoming an electrical engineer in the future.
“I like maths and physics so studying engineering seemed to make sense,” said Victoria.
“I’ve visited my brother in Oxford a few times and it was great to see it from a student perspective before I applied – I’m really looking forward to going.”
Other top performing students included: Dawid Adamowicz, who gained an A* and three As to read computer science at Durham University, and Nick Hall who achieved a clean sweep of three A*s and will study finance and economics at Lancaster University.
Farmina Ahmed, with one A* and two As, and Sabina Iqbal, with three As, will read medicine at Newcastle University alongside Zaira Sattar, whose three As secured a place to study dentistry and Hasan Imitaz, who will also study medicine, at Edinburgh, with to A*s and an A.
Emmanuel College principal Matt Waterfield said: “Today is an opportunity to celebrate seven years of hard work, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of a brand new phase in these students’ lives.
“Overall, we have much to be thankful for. Many of our students have a place on a course that they are excited about and that will enable them to flourish in the future.
“Results like our students have achieved today demonstrate that our approach to holistic, character-first, Christian ethos education is successful in ensuring young people have the very best start in life.”