TORFAEN sixth form pupils were celebrating on Thursday as their A-level results were announced.

The number of Torfaen students achieving the level three threshold - equivalent to two A levels at grades A* to E - increased from 92.3 per cent to 94.4 per cent.

The percentage getting top marks has also increased, with the percentage of pupils gaining A* or A grades has increased to 20.3 per cent, up from 18.9 per cent last year.

Cwmbran High School saw 90 per cent of its Sixth Form pupils reach the level three threshold, with nine per cent earning three A*s or As.

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(Toni O’Toole at Cwmbran High School)

One pupil that will be heading to university is Toni O’Toole, who will be studying Education, Psychology and Special Educational Needs at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

She only moved to south Wales at the start of Sixth Form after dropping out of her first year of Sixth Form previously, and will now be going to university after achieving a distinction star, a distinction and a pass in the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Toni said: “I didn’t think three years ago that I would be finishing sixth form, let alone going to University.

“It’s amazing.”

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(Biology teacher Tony Lewis with Jade Rees at Cwmbran High School)

Jade Rees, head girl at Cwmbran High School, will study Medicine at Cardiff University after earning three As.

She said: “I can’t believe it. I wasn’t expecting these results.

“It was a lot of hard work.

“I’m really looking forward to going to University”

Marc Chapman, head of sixth form at Cwmbran High School, said: “I’m delighted with the results. I’m very proud of the efforts of our staff and pupils - not only those who are going to University, but those who are going into jobs and apprenticeships too.”

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(Croesyceiliog pupil Elliot Cocker. Picture: Torfaen council)

Croesyceiliog pupil Elliot Cocker will be studying Geography at St John’s College, Oxford.

Elliott achieved A*s in Sociology and Maths, and As in Geography and his Welsh Baccalaureate.

Megan Warren was another high-flier at Croesyceiliog school. She earnt three As, and will be studying Primary Education with QTS at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

She said: “I really wasn’t expecting this. We were being quite conservative with our expectations. I didn’t think I’d get an A in IT, so I’m really happy with that.”

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(Croesyceiliog School head of sixth form Sian Lewis and headteacher David Taylor.)

David Taylor, headteacher of Croesyceiliog Comprehensive, said: “We are delighted with the A-level results achieved by our students and their teachers.

“Two of our students - Elliot Cocker and Jessica Bibby - achieved A*/A grades in four subjects.

“In addition, James Constance, Lewis Greenman, Jack Fowler, Rosie Merrimann, Martha Pugh, Daniel Smith, Rhys Jones and Megan Warren all achieved A*- A grades in three subjects.

“As ever, our students are going on to universities across the UK, including Oxford and other Russell Group universities, to study a wide range of degree courses including accountancy, biomedical science, bio-veterinary science, computer forensics, geography, history, nursing and religion and philosophy.”

Colin Crick, chairman of the governors, also congratulated all members of the teaching staff and students on these excellent results achieved through Sixth Form provision at Croesyceiliog School.

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(St Albans RC High School pupil Susannah Cullen. Picture: Torfaen council)

Susannah Cullen was among the standout performers at St Albans R.C. High School in Pontypool. She achieved two As and one B, and will go on to study at Cardiff.

“Congratulations to all pupils collecting their A Level/AS results today, some fantastic individual performances,” the school tweeted on results day. “Your hard work has finally paid off. Thank you to all your families and staff for all their support. Good luck for the next stage of your journey.”

Torfaen’s only Welsh-language secondary school, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, celebrated a 100 per cent pass rate, with 78 per cent of grades at A*-C.

Among the top performers were Esyllt Williams, who achieved A* grades in physics and further maths, and As in mathematics and the Welsh Baccalaureate; Craig Allen, who achieved an A* in Spanish and As in economics and mathematics; and Remi Adibiyi, who sat his exams while preparing to represent the UK in steeplechase at the European Under-20 athletics championships. This didn’t stop him achieving four As in mathematics, further mathematics, economics, and the Welsh Baccalaureate.

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(Lowri Howle and Caitlin Manley celebrating their results at Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw. Picture: Torfaen council)

Other high achievers at Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw were Chloe Russell Williams (one A*, one A, and two Bs), Lowri Howle (two As and one B), and Ella Wilkins (one A*, one A, and one B).

“We could not have asked for more from our pupils or for more support from their family and friends, and we would like to pay tribute to that support throughout their time at school,” a statement from the school read.

Cllr David Yeowell, executive member for education said: “I would like to congratulate all learners on their exam achievements.

"The effort that has gone into these results should not be underestimated and I wish all our young people every success on the next step.

“It’s pleasing that 94.4 per cent of all our pupils achieved the national level three threshold and once again there have been some truly outstanding individual performances with Torfaen pupils heading off to some of the top universities in the world to continue their studies.

“From speaking to students, it was heart-warming to hear their enthusiasm as they prepare to start university, beginning an apprenticeship or take up opportunities in the workplace.

“I must thank all our schools, teachers, pupils for their commitment and hard work in achieving these results and to the families who have supported their children throughout their education“This is an exciting time for these young people and I wish them every success for the future. For anyone still unsure of their next steps, there is extensive advice and support within schools and an enormous range of post-16 learning opportunities across the region to suit everyone.”