Two leading girls’ schools, Central Newcastle High School and Newcastle Church High School, are celebrating their impressive A Level results together this year in preparation for the opening of Newcastle High School for Girls in a few weeks’ time.

An impressive total of 19 girls achieved all top grades at A* and As at Central High, with over 47% of entries from Central High and almost a third of Church High entries achieving all A* and A grades.

There were very strong results across the board including sciences, humanities (where almost 70% of entries at Central High for both History and Geography were at A* or A grade), and the Arts; with girls going on to study at top Universities including Oxbridge, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, UCL London, Nottingham, Leeds, as well as our home city Newcastle.

Hilary French, headmistress of Central High and of Newcastle High School for Girls from this September, said: “I am delighted with the outstanding achievements of girls from both schools across a wide spectrum of subjects and congratulate all the girls on their excellent results.This is clear evidence that Newcastle High, our new School, is already a beacon of national excellence and a leading girls’ school for the North East region. It is an excellent start and a very strong foundation for our opening in early September.”

“Equally as important as the results themselves, is that we support our girls in realising their ambitions and help them get into the University and course of their choice, many at the top Russell Group Universities where competition is fierce, particularly for subjects like Medicine and History. We encourage each girl to follow their passion, and get involved in as many aspects of the school as possible. This set of results is very gratifying and shows the benefits of the breadth and depth our rounded education which we will be taking forward into our new School.”

Amy Larsen from Brunton Park in Gosforth, a scientist and talented artist at Central High, achieved A*s across the board in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, as well as an A* in her Extended Project Qualification and has received confirmation of her place at Cambridge University to read Natural Sciences. “I needed very high grades to get my place at Cambridge so I was just so relieved more than anything.  At the moment I am thinking of a career in research, possibly in drug design but I also want to keep my art going too.”

Lindsey McKeown, from Morpeth also achieved three straight A*s in Biology, Chemistry and English Literature, and a further A* for her Extended Project Qualification about Alzheimer’s disease and Art Therapy, and is excited that her place to read Medicine at Kings College, London University has now been confirmed. “I didn’t log onto UCAS, I wanted to collect my grades so I waited until I came into School. I can’t believe it, I was aiming for three As, I didn’t expect all A*s! Most of all it’s a feeling of relief. London is a big draw and Kings is one of the best colleges for research and scientific development. Her mother added: “The work that Lindsey has put in is phenomenal – total dedication.”

Grace Dickson, from Newcastle, a talented young actress who ran a school theatrical group called FRED at Central High has an equal passion and talent for Maths. Grace has gained a place to read Maths at Edinburgh after gaining an impressive four A Levels including an A* for Maths. “I am planning to keep up Musical Theatre at Uni but I am keen to have an academic degree behind me to help with jobs. Also, I like the fact that there is always an answer in Maths and it’s the same in any language.”

Karina Shooter from North Shields is celebrating having gained a place at Oxford University to read Economics based on her outstanding results in four A Levels: As in Economics, German and Further Mathematics, with an A* for Mathematics. “I was so scared opening the envelope and then I saw the A* which is what I needed. Neither of my parents went to University, but I have always wanted to go to Oxford since I started at senior school, so this is like a dream come true.”  Karina also has a GCSE in Mandarin and plans to continue studying this “One of my economics tutors at Oxford is an expert in the Chinese economy and I am hoping to learn from him too.”

Newcastle Church High School girls were also celebrating another great year with almost a third of all grades at the highest level – A* and A. Nearly 70 per cent of all grades achieved were A* – B, and, despite particularly high demand for university places, the vast majority of girls achieved a place at their chosen destinations.

The girls will now go on to study a wide range of subjects – academic and vocational – pursuing their ambitions across the UK and beyond. Destinations include a football scholarship in South Carolina and Glasgow School of Art to Humanities at the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham.

Head of Church High, Joy Gatenby, said: “I’m delighted, emotional and unbelievably proud of all that our girls have achieved. Today is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work and dedication from our girls and our whole school community.
“Almost a third of all our grades are at the highest level and I’m thrilled that our students have been so successful and will be following their chosen courses at Universities across the country. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish our class of 2014 the best of luck in the next chapter of their lives.

“The breadth and depth of the girls’ success across a range of subjects, from the Sciences to Arts and Humanities, demonstrates the strengths both our schools have to offer. As we come together as Newcastle High School for Girls, we will truly be a force for excellence in girls’ education and if today is anything to go by, we have a very exciting and successful future to look forward to!”
Amongst the Church High girls celebrating today was 18-year-old Esme Beer who lives in Fenham. She achieved As in Biology, Chemistry and Maths, and has secured a place at the University of Glasgow to study Medicine. Esme, who was Head Girl at Church High, is the first in her family to step into the world of Medicine.

She said: “I’ve been at Church High for 15 years and will miss it a lot, but I’m really excited to move on and experience something new. I’ve wanted to be a doctor for so long, and I’ve put every effort into achieving that, so now that it’s becoming a reality it’s just so exciting.”
18-year-old Tamar Dutton from Gosforth was “euphoric” today after discovering she’d achieved an A* in History, A in Art and A in Religious Studies.
Tamar said: “The journey into school this morning was only ten minutes but it was the longest ten minutes of my life! I know a few girls looked online to see if they’d got in or not, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.”

Thanks to her outstanding grades, talented artist Tamar will be going to Durham University to study History. She continued: “I’m not sure what I want to do after I graduate yet, I’ve looked at a couple of options – one being teaching – but History is such a versatile degree I’ll just see what takes my fancy once I leave.”
“I can’t wait to start looking into some am-dram opportunities at university as I’m passionate about performing arts and playing the clarinet, but the one thing I’ll be taking forward no matter what, is Art – I love it too much to leave behind.”
Bethany Painter, 18, from Beamish is looking forward to studying Geography at the University of Edinburgh in September. Church High Deputy Head Girl Bethany, was thrilled when she opened her envelope to find she’d secured an A* in Geography, A* in Religious Studies and a B in Chemistry.

“I was so nervous yesterday, I didn’t know what to expect,” said Bethany. Edinburgh was my first choice so I’m just so happy. I’ve fallen in love with Edinburgh so I can’t wait for a fresh start and some new experiences. I love playing netball and hockey so I’ll be signing up to play those at university – it’ll be a good way to make some new friends.”

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