Durrington High School students were jumping for joy this morning after collecting their GCSE results.
Just before Dan Moss opened his envelope, his friend Sam Stringer, with whom he had a healthy rivalry, got six 9s – so the pressure was on.
But thankfully he could lift his head high after matching his mate’s tally of 9s. The Durrington teenager also got an eight, a seven and two As.
The 16-year-old felt the new exams were a mixed blessing. He said: “There was a lot more content, and a lot of it has been taken down from A-level.
“The people getting interviewed for the paper have done really well, but I think there will be lots of people who will have struggled with the amount of content there was.
“But you could argue it is good preparation for college.”
He will be going to BHASVIC in Brighton to study biology, chemistry and maths.
Hannah Munson, 16, from Durrington, surpassed her own expectations, getting two 9s, two 8s, three 7s, a six, a five and an A. She said: “I’ve never thought of myself as an eight... oh my God.
“It feels very surprising and I’m privileged. I would never associate myself with those people.”
It was a nerve-wracking morning for the teenager. She said: ““This morning, I had my head down the toilet, I didn’t eat anything, I only had a sip of water in the car on the way here. My mental health was declining.”
When she first read her results, the emotions overflowed. She said: “I literally just cried my eyes out.
“My mum was so shocked, she was shouting down the phone.”
Declan Bransby, 16, from Durrington, achieved six 9 grades, one 8, one 6, one 5 and an A*. Click here to find out how the new grading system works.
He said he was ‘over the moon’ with his results. He said: “I was full of nerves this morning; I was up at 5.30am this morning and I was checking the grade boundaries at 8am. I worked really hard and I wanted some relief.
“So when I saw my results, I was really happy. I wasn’t expecting to do that well. I’m still in a bit of shock.”
For the first time, most of the GCSEs in England are being graded from 9 to 1 in an overhaul designed to make the exams more difficult.
Declan agreed. He said: “They were extremely difficult. A lot of the exams were a lot harder than I thought they would be. I was quite surprised.”
He will be going to Lancing College to study biology, maths, further maths and chemistry with the end goal of studing maths or chemistry at university.
Regarding his experience at Durrington High, he said: “I really enjoyed my time here. There were some really good teachers, especially in the science department. I would definitely recommend this school to anyone.”
Abbie Moon, 16, from Tarring, got four 9s, two 8s, one 7, one 6 and an A*. She said she was ‘amazed’ with her marks, particularly in science and maths as these are the subjects she will be studying at Worthing College.
Her advice to Year 10 pupils was to ‘listen to your teachers’ and ‘get all the help you can get’ with past papers and revision classes.
Emily Doré, 16, from Goring, got two 6s, two 7s, four 8s and one 9 in P.E.. She said she was ‘really nervous’ before opening the envelope. She will be studying a sport and exercise science Btec and psychology A-level at Worthing College to become a sports physiotherapist.
Yasmine Henson, 16, from Goring, had a lot to celebrate after getting three 9s, four 8s, two 7s and an A. She said: “I was expecting one 9 at a push, but not three. I was really shocked and surprised, but mostly relieved that it is over now and that I can move on.”
Eli Middleton, 16, from Findon, got two 9s in P.E. and Chemistry and four 8s, one 7, one 6 and one 5. She will be studying biology, psychology and P.E. at Worthing College. She said: “I couldn’t stop smiling; I was so happy and relieved that the wait and anticipation was over.
“I came out of my exams thinking I had done awfully.”