TRIPLETS proved the power of three when it comes to tackling exams and securing bright futures.

Sisters Tamara, Jade and Esmée, Ullyart-Edwards, 18, of Darlington, were celebrating a top set of results including A*s in their Extended Project Qualification.

Tamara not only invented a language from scratch but also wrote the definitive user manual for her EPQ, a qualification which is often crucial to securing a university place.

“It’s a spoken language using the International Phonetic Alphabet,” she said. “The manual is 60 pages but I haven’t managed to teach it to any of my friends yet; it just lives in my head.”

With A*s also in biology, English language, a D3 (equivalent to A at Pre-U) in English literature and an A in geography, she will read English at the University of York with Esmée, who secured an A in English language and a D2 (equivalent to A* at Pre-U) in literature. Jade, who secured a B and an M1 (B equivalent) in English language and literature respectively, is planning a gap year to volunteer for charity and gain work experience before heading off to university next year.

Other outstanding performers included keen drummer Madeleine Forsyth, of Cotherstone in Teesdale, who will read Philosophy and Italian at Wadham College, Oxford University.

The 18-year-old is planning a gap year and has been drumming up support to raise money to work for six weeks with street children in Senegal with the charity Project Abroad and ran the 94-mile Teesdale Way in just three days realising £1,200 towards the trip.

Also enjoying success were Caleb Ellis, 18, of Dalton and Victoria Gibson, of Appleby, and Alex Thompson, of Richmond, who have all secured places at Durham University to study Natural Sciences and Classical Civilisation and Biological Sciences, respectively.

Another top performing student, who travelled to Barney from the Chinese border with Mongolia, is set for take-off after his straight A grades secured him a place to study aeronautical engineering.

Barnard Castle School sixth former Yicheng Liu, (known as Kim) took the honours for being the most far flung student as he travelled 3,827miles from his home in the landlocked Ürümqi, in North West China, whose claim to fame is being the furthest city from any ocean in the world.

The boarding student celebrated results that included A* in maths, A in further maths, A in Chinese and a D2 (A* equivalent, at Pre-U), securing a place at Imperial College, London, to read aeronautical engineering.

Overall students and staff at Barnard Castle School were celebrating A Level results with significant improvements across the board, including the number of top grades achieved.

Barney saw a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of students achieving A* grades, as 10 per cent of all examinations taken were awarded the top mark.

There was also a strong rise in the number of students who received A* or A grades, with 27 per cent of all examinations taken accounting for the top two classifications – a 23 per cent increase from 2018’s results.

Barnard Castle School headmaster Tony Jackson said: “I am incredibly proud of our students, who have achieved outstanding results. It is testament to their hard work and commitment, together with the continuous guidance and expert tutelage from our dedicated teaching staff.

“At Barney we strive to teach our students much more than that which can be learned inside a classroom; we aim to inspire confidence, humility and respect, among other key attributes and soft skills, to help prepare young people for life.”