AROUND 98 per cent of Newport's A-level students passed their A-levels with grades A*-E, while 23.8 per cent scored A*-A grades, slightly above the Welsh average of 23.3 per cent, and 6.4 per cent achieved A* grades, slightly below the Wales average of 6.7 per cent.

Breathing a sigh of relief after opening her results envelope was St Joseph’s RC High School pupil Ciara Cullen who achieved an A* in English, A* in RE and an A in History.

Miss Cullen will now go on to study English at Durham University and hopes to have a career in publishing.

Patrick Quinn achieved three As in biology, chemistry and English and is going to Bristol University to study medicine.

Head teacher Trevor Brown said: “We are so proud of all our students who have not only achieved academically but who leave the school as well rounded, thoughtful and caring young people."

All St Joseph's A-level pupils passed, while 23 per cent achieved A*-A grades and more than half of students getting A*-B grades.

Newport High School had a 90 per cent pass rate with the majority of its 64 Year 13s are going to Welsh universities.

Head teacher Karyn Keane said around 21 per cent of all A-level grades at Newport High were A*, A, Distinction Star or Distinction for BTEC and Cambridge National (formerly OCR) courses.

Caerleon Comp head teacher Tim Pratt praised this year's results as "really terrific" with 54 per cent of pupils gaining A*-B grades and 10 per cent getting A* grades.

Caerleon sixth former Ben Rackham from Caerleon achieved A* grades in chemistry, physics, maths and further maths and plans to study chemistry at Jesus College, Oxford, the first in his family to do so.

Classmate Jonathan Wright, 18, from Cwmbran, also achieved four A* grades in those subjects and will study computer science at Jesus College, Cambridge, while Aled Vaghela from Caerleon will join his brother at Cambridge University after achieving an A in biology and four A* grades in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry, and passing the university entrance exam with flying colours.

Rougemont School saw 70 per cent of exam entries achieve A*-B, with high flyers including Konrad Edwards who achieved 5 A* grades and will study natural sciences at Cambridge, and with 3 A* grades Daisy Morgan will study veterinary science also at Cambridge.

At St Julian's School there was a 100 per cent A*-E passes in all BTEC subjects and the majority of A2 courses, said head of sixth form James Newton, while in maths there were 2 A* grades and 7 A grades. High flyers with three or more A*-A grades included Lucy Davies, Rhys Durham, Dylan John, Jarrod Lewis, Chloe Szeto, Nicholas Tayler, Yexin Xie and Kelly Young.

Meanwhile at Duffryn High School, Josh Lynbeck, who achieved 2 A* and 1 A will go on to study history at Oxford.

Mr Lynbeck, who hopes to have a career in law or a history related profession, said he has wanted to go to Oxford from the age of 11.

Head teacher Jon Wilson praised it as "a fantastic achievement" by Josh.

“We've now reached the point where we'll be targeting high achieving students in Year 7 to ensure they go on to the sixth form and apply to the very best universities," he said.

It was a double celebration for Laura Wood, who achieved her place at Cardiff University and turned 18 on results day.

The avid Dr Who fan will go on to study English Literature.

Lliswerry High School saw a 95 per cent pass rate, with 20 courses seeing a 100 per cent pass rate, said head teacher Alyson Mills, who thanked staff for their hard work.

Successes in Year 13 included Iona Hunt and Shuhani Shohid who had 1 A and 2 Bs, Adam Rogers who had a Distinction Star, a Distinction and a C, and in Year 12, Carlton French and Jamie Parsons who achieved 3 As and 1 B.