Successful students are about to embark on the next chapter of their lives at some of the country’s leading centres of learning after securing top examination grades.

Oxford and Cambridge universities are beckoning for five students from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, while others are heading to read degrees in medicine, engineering and other STEM subjects.

Year 11 students are planning to continue their studies at Emmanuel College Sixth Form College after securing excellent grades, where they will be joined by entrants from other schools.

More than 80 per cent of the year group have confirmed places at a higher education institution, with the majority of the remaining students either pursuing a likely place or with a confirmed place in industry.

Five students heading to Oxbridge include Erin Cresswell, who gained four A*s to read natural sciences at Cambridge; Thejes Sundar, who also secured four A*s to read physics at Oxford; Joshua Dixon, who is going to Oxford to study French and German; Jessica Harrison, who is self-taught in Japanese and will read the language at Oxford; and Oluchi Chikwem, who will study a degree in theology and religion at Oxford.

Five other students are starting degrees in either medicine or nursing, 12 in engineering, 50 per cent of whom are female, while five girls will start degrees in healthcare, making 19 girls who will read degrees in STEM subjects.

A breakdown of subjects saw Emmanuel College students particularly successful in economics, further maths, maths, chemistry, English literature and language, physics and history.

Adam Curry, who was targeted to gain three Cs at A level but achieved three As, is now off to Imperial College, London, to study chemistry, while Harry Parkin, achieved BCE in the assessment at the beginning of Year 13, but gained three As and will study finance and economics at Lancaster.

Year 11 students shared the honours when they received their GSCE results.

For Maab Ahmed her results were a highpoint in a journey that started in her home country of Sudan, which she was forced to flee to become an asylum seeker, speaking little English when she arrived in the North-East.

Two years later she secured eight passes, including 100 per cent in Arabic GCSE, and is moving to Coventry to study civil engineering.

Maab said: “I feel really, really good, I’m really happy. I never thought I could do it. When I came here two years ago it was pretty hard for me, with the accent and the new language and everything. I want to thank all my teachers at Emmanuel, they are just the best. I know a lot of people in my situation struggle, but my teachers were really kind and they made me think I could do it.”

Overall, 64 GCSE students secured grade 9s with one gaining 12 and four others achieving 10. More than 50 students gained eight or more grade 7s or higher with the top 30 boys and girls achieving 269 grade 8 and grade 9s. Ninety-one per cent of all grades were 4 or above.

Out of 216 students in the year group 129 are returning to Emmanuel College having successfully being accepted into the Sixth Form. They will be joined by 15 students from other schools.

Vice Principal Rachael Hooker said: “The achievement of our students at GCSE and A level reflects five and seven years, respectively, of hard work and commitment to their studies. Throughout their time they have shown good character, have always strived to achieve their best performance and have been rewarded with stunning results.

“Their outcomes are even more impressive given the exceptional circumstances of a global pandemic and the dedication shown through the period of school closure.

“GCSE students were fully engaged in our sixth form transition programme, helping them to choose the right courses, while A level students worked hard to ensure they continued studying in preparation for university and indeed completed university application processes throughout lockdown.”