Students across Kingston are finding out whether their hard work has paid off today as they collect their A-level results.
Pupils visited their schools and colleges for one last time today to open results envelopes and find out whether they made their grades and the cut for their chosen universities.
Hollyfield School has reached a real landmark this year: It is sending its first student to Cambridge.
Alexa Belsham. Picture: Jon Sharman
Alexa Belsham, 18, will spend a year in industry before beginning her degree.
She hopes to specialise in aeronautical engineering, having achieved two A* and two A grades in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
She said: "I'm relieved and excited. Maths has always been my favourite subject - I understand maths. I'm proud to be geeky."
Head of sixth form Leila Brown said: "For the first time we've actually got kids going to places like Cambridge and Imperial, and getting onto medical courses."
Hollyfield data director Andrew Newton said: "We seem to have a record number of grade A*.
"At the moment from our analysis there don’t seem to be any subjects that have caused any particular problems."
Daniel Clark, also 18, got an A*, an A and two Bs in maths, physics, further maths and drama.
He said of his drama course: "It's nice to have a break every now and then from maths. That's the one that you can go to and know you're always going to enjoy the lesson."
He said he decided to go to Warwick after being drawn to the place "regardless of what's practical or rational".
He added: "You just know it's for you."
Daniel Clark, 18, Mohammed Algrieri, 19, Chloe Leworthy, 18, Nadr Meradji, 19, Shyan Al-Barzangi, 18, from Hollyfield School. Picture: Jon Sharman
Mark Wallace, acting head at Kingston Grammar School, said: "We're very fortunate in that across all subject areas they've got into what they wanted to study.
"Maths and science have always been strong here. History has come up very well this time around, and politics."
KGS student Eleanor Home, 18, is off to Queen's College, Oxford, to study classics with oriental studies.
She said: "I think I'm the only person in my college doing that - it's like a whole classics degree with the extra work tacked on."
Emily Bedborough, Miranda Evans, Eleanor Home, all 18, celebrate their results at Kingston Grammar School. Picture: Jon Sharman
Eric Burke-Arevalo, George Mumford, Albert Linney, Will Robinson, all 18, celebrate their results at Kingston Grammar School. Picture: Jon Sharman
Hilda Clarke, headteacher at Tiffin School, said exams have become increasingly difficult.
She added: "I'm delighted that the very hard work of the students and staff came out in the evidence of the results."
Isaac Jarratt Barnham, 18, spent half a term out of school due to illness, but still managed to get into Cambridge to study philosophy.
He said: "I like arguing and I think it's interesting to think about how people think."
Students at Tiffin School for Girls celebrate their results
Tiffin Girls' School headteacher Vanessa Ward said: "We are all delighted with this superb set of A-level results which reflects the ability, hard work and commitment of our outstanding students and staff and the support of parents."
Tiffin girls' marks did not dip below a C - with 77 per cent of grades an A or A*.
Southborough High School students celebrating.
Nearly a third of Southborough High School students' grades were an A or A* this year.
Headteacher Niall Smith said: “I am delighted with these results, which are the richly deserved reward for our students’ hard work.
"I would also like to thank staff and parents for their dedication and support.”
Tristan Gregory, from Southborough High School.
Incredibly, a year 11 GCSE student, Tristan Gregory, scored an A* in his maths A-level, having taken the exam two years early.
Coombe Sixth Form students also increased their share of the top grades.
Headteacher Deborah Walls said; "I’m absolutely thrilled with the results.
"They all fully deserve these superb grades and we wish them the very best of luck as they commence the next phase of their education."
Hana Jeetun, Gaby Corry-Mead, Alice House, Alex Mackie, and Saira Dean from Coombe Sixth Form.
Kingston University says its clearing helplines have been busy since they opened at 8.30am today.
Within three hours, more than 4,800 calls had been logged.
Henry Yellop, Nevan McGrath, James Smith, John Shepherd, Jack Murphy, Edward Randall, Evan Tyrell and Aaron Sweeney, from Richard Challoner
Three-quarters of grades at Richard Challoner were a C or higher this year.
Head of School Ian O’Brien said: "Students at Richard Challoner School have increased the number of higher grades achieved, despite the changes forced on students mid-way through their course by a change of government policy.
"We are incredibly proud of the hard work and commitment shown by students and staff alike."
Surbiton High School girls celebrating their results.
More than a third of Surbiton High School grades were an A, and 12 per cent were A*.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, a former Surbiton pupil, said: "Each and every single pupil this year can be confident that the results they worked so hard to achieve represent real achievement and will give them a better, brighter start in life."
Steph Gunn, and Grace Melville, both 18, celebrate at Surbiton High School.
Principal Ann Haydon said: "I am thrilled that our students have been able to achieve such impressive academic results alongside all of their other accomplishments.
"The education of the whole character is something that resonates with the capabilities we seek to build in pupils at Surbiton High."
Tolworth Girls' School said the number of its students accepted into prestigious Russell group universities had increased this year.
A spokeswoman said: "There has been a fantastic atmosphere at the school today, the school has exceeded its targets and the vast majority of our students have exceeded their expectations. "
An outstanding result at Chessington Community College saw students' shares of A grades leap from seven per cent of the total to 28 per cent of the total.
- Are you collecting your results? Send your pictures and stories to email@example.com