PUPILS, staff and parents are on Cloud Nine at Carmel College in Darlington today after achieving some of the best GCSE results in Britain.

With a new 1-9 grading system and tougher exams being fully introduced this year, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the results. Only four per cent of the country’s pupils were expected to achieve the top grade of 9.

However, the number of 9 grades at Carmel added up to 121 out of 190 pupils taking the exams.

There were emotional scenes as Amelia Anneliese Bryant opened her results to discover she had achieved nine 9 grades plus an 8, placing her among the top achievers in the country.

Amelia, who has ambitions in either design engineering or criminal psychology, said: “I’m just thrilled because I’ve been revising for such a long time. I can’t believe it.”

Her tearful mum Edwina added: “We are immensely proud of her because she has worked so incredibly hard.”

Other high achievers at Carmel included Connor Evans, who also got nine 9 grades and an 8, and Ezra Laundy-Blair, who achieved nine 9s and a 7.

Jeanne Jose, who came to England from Dubai in 2006 when her dad Mathew got a job as a mechanical engineer with Whessoe, was delighted with her seven 9 grades.

“I wasn’t expecting this so I’m really relieved and proud,” said Jeanne, who wants to work in medical research.

Rugby-playing twins Joe and Sam Berry, who play for Newcastle Falcons Under-18s, achieved 11 of the top grades between them.

Principal Mike Shorten said: “The results are stunning, especially in the context of the volatility and uncertainty surrounding the changes to the grading system being fully introduced this year.

“It’s clear that Carmel College has maintained its position as a top performer across the region, and the country, and that’s a credit to pupils, staff and parents.”