A NEWPORT school is celebrating the first anniversary of its opening this month.

Newport High School was built to replace Bettws High School and opened its doors to pupils for the first time last November.

The £28 million new school, which has 1,080 pupils, was officially opened by the Princess Royal earlier this year.

It saw an improvement in its exam results this year with 75 per cent of its year 11 students achieving five A*- C grades in their GCSE exams.

This was an increase of 24 per cent from the previous year's results.

Headteacher Karyn Keane puts the rise down to the school's excellent new facilities, hard work of staff and students and a change in the school curriculum, which now sees some children in years nine and ten sitting exams ahead of schedule.

In August, almost half of the school's year ten pupils had already gained five or more GCSEs at C grade or higher.

The school saw 94 percent of its students gain an A-level this year and 65 per cent of pupils achieved grades A* to C.

It has also seen a three percent increase in attendance this year.

Mrs Keane said: "We have had what can only be described as an amazing first year at Newport High School. We are very proud of our school, students, staff and the education that we provide. We are delighted with our outstanding GCSE results.

"The support, praise and encouragement we have received from the entire community has also helped us achieve this goal."

The new school is the first secondary school in Wales to achieve an environmental rating of excellent and has design features specific to the curriculum.

This include dedicated ICT suites in each of the school's teaching and study spaces and laptops for all students.

All classrooms have projectors and whiteboards which encourage students to become more actively involved in their lessons.

Students can also use the school's virtual learning environment to download curriculum material and submit homework from home.

Other facilities include a drama studio, modern science labs and leisure facilities.

The school offers a range of vocational course from construction and health and social care to performing arts, retail and travel and tourism.