PUPILS across Newport celebrated their A-level results today as official figures revealed a rise in the number of those gaining the top grade.

The proportion of students achieving a pass grade (Grades A* - E) has increased slightly to 97.4 per cent, on last year’s 97.1 per cent, and in line with the Wales average of 97.3 per cent.

The percentage of pupils in schools in the city gaining an A* was 6.9 per cent, an increase on last year’s 5.9 per cent and above the Wales average of 6.6 per cent. But the proportion of those gaining A* to A has decreased from 23.2 per cent to 21.9 per cent which is below the Wales average of 22.7 per cent.

All pupils who took at least two A-levels achieved them at Newport High School with 23 per cent of those received A* and As.

Chloe Pearson, achieved A in law, B in psychology, and a C in English. She will be studying criminology and law at the University of South Wales.

She said: “I’m very very happy, all the hard work has paid off.”

Georgia Southway, achieved an A* Welsh baccalaureate, A in maths and French and a B in physics.

She said: “I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do. I’m looking into joining the Royal Navy.

"I would love to travel around the world and I’m already in the reserves."

She added: “I also feel relieved. Two years of hard work have finally paid off.

“I’m going to celebrate tonight. We’ll probably go for a meal with my family."

Head boy, Will Hughes achieved outstanding results securing A*, A, C and merit grades. He plans to continue his studies at the University of the West of England studying film making.

Jack Hemmings, will be studying broadcasting and music technology at the University of the West of England in Bristol after achieving a B in performing arts, D in English Language and ICT.

Megan White, achieved a C in product design and A in performing arts.

Molly Savage who was picking up her AS results achieved an A in biology and psychology along with a B in maths. She said: “Hopefully I’ll be going to university next year. I wasn’t sure about what marks I was going to get so I’m very pleased.”

Head teacher of Newport High, Karyn Keane, said: “Our students have achieved outstanding results this year at Newport High. We are very proud of each and every one of them and wish them every success for a very bright future.

"These results reflect the commitment of our staff, the hard work of our students and the support of their parents and families."

St Joseph's RC High School have achieved their best results with 80 per cent gaining A*-C and 29 per cent of the grades were A*-A.

Head teacher Trevor Brown said: "It has been a very joyful celebratory morning. We’re immensely proud of the achievements of our students.

"They’re the best results we’ve ever had. We’re absolutely delighted.”

Pupil William Ryley achieved three A* in maths, chemistry and the Welsh bac along with an A in physics. He is going to study chemistry in Bath starting in September.

He said: "I was so shocked by my results."

Mary O’Hagan, received an A* in sociology and Welsh bac along with an A in history and theatre studies.

She will be studying law in the University of Bristol.

She said: "I can’t wait, I’m so excited to move to a big city and challenge myself even more.

"The A-levels have probably been the hardest thing I’ve gone through so far. It was really hard but worth it."

There was a rise in Newport WJEC exam entries of 7.2 per cent from last year, compared against a drop in entries across Wales.

Councillor Gail Giles, the council’s cabinet member for education and young people, said: “Well done to both pupils and teachers who have worked hard over a number of years towards this day. Congratulations to those who have achieved both academic and vocational qualifications.

“Good luck and best wishes to all those young people who are now ready to take the next step towards the world of further education or work."

The percentage of pupils at Rougemont School who achieved the top grades A* and A was 43 per cent - almost double that of the national score of 26 per cent.

A* to B grades were received by 71 per cent of pupils and 90 per cent received A* to C grades.

“We are delighted with the results achieved today,” said Robert Carnevale, headmaster. “The dedication of our pupils and staff towards these exams is unquestionable and this is shown by the marks awarded. We are also very happy to note that these figures show an increase on last year’s results, something that all schools continually strive for.

“We wish all our pupils the best of luck in the next phase of their educational journey, and indeed their future careers and lives.”

Llanwern High School achieved a 94 per cent pass rate at level 3 with 88 per cent of students achieving the level 3 Threshold of two A-levels.

Rob King, headteacher, said: "I am very pleased with results and wish all our students every success in their future career paths."

He said the school were outstanding in their performance at level 3 vocational subjects particularly at the top grades along with a 100 per cent pass rate at Welsh Bac, art, English, religious studies and drama.

Mr King said a significant number of Llanwern students were accepted onto university courses from families where they are first generation university entrants.

Pupils at Duffryn High School were celebrating their results yesterday including Abi Carver who achieved four A*s.

Lliswerry High School had a pass rate of 93 per cent. Head teacher Alyson Mills said she was 'very proud.'

She said: "I am absolutely delighted. There has been lots and lots of happy faces here. Very proud pupils and proud parents."

Karl Bryant, achieved two As and a B in maths, electronics and chemistry. He will be reading computer science at university.

Jack Devonshire, achieved A and B in English literature and art along with a distinction* in performing arts.

Zahra Rizvi achieved five As at AS level which were chemistry, physics, biology, maths and Urdu. Majd Al-Jeroudi achieved an A* in his Arabic A-level along with two As and two Bs in his AS levels.

Jayne Bryant, AM for Newport West, said: “The results in Newport pay testament to all the hard work students and teachers have put in over the last two years. It is particularly pleasing that the number of pupils receiving A* in Newport has risen. It really shows a determination to strive for excellence.

"I wish all students, whatever their results, the best for the future in any path they chose to take.”

Bassaleg School declined to release their overall A-level results but head teacher Elizabeth Thomas said: “Congratulations to all our students who did so well in their examinations.”