AS Rebecca Bennett opened her A-level results at Pingle School, her face was a picture of pure astonishment.
The 18-year-old could not wipe the smile off her face as she told the Mail her results.
"I got two A*s in history and law, and three As in maths, general studies and business. I didn't expect to do this well, and I'm really happy," she said.
The pride on the faces of her parents Joanne and Aidan was plain to see.
"We are really proud," her mum said. "It's nothing less than we were expecting, and what she deserves."
Rebecca was just one of the exceptional students picking up good news from the school, which saw a significant rise in results.
Andrew Dean is off to university to study computer science after racking up an A* and two As.
"It's been hard, but now it's all done, it's been worth it," the 18-year-old said.
Head teacher Vivien Sharples said she was 'very proud' of the students.
There were similarly happy faces at de Ferrers Academy, which saw a 100 per cent pass rate. Nearly 50 per cent of students managed A* to B grades – an improvement on last year.
Ali Bickle, vice-principal, said: "There has been a tremendous amount of hard work from students and staff alike."
Among those at the top of the class was Hannah Lewis, of Stretton, who got an A* in art and design and As in design and technology and maths. She is going to UCL to study architecture.
"I'm really surprised by the results, but I'm really happy. I didn't expect to do that well."
Aatif Khan, of Burton, is heading to the University of Warwick to study PPE, after managing three As and a B. "It hasn't sunk in yet," he said.
A total of 67 per cent of students achieved B grades or above in their exams at John Taylor Sixth Form.
Sam Crawford and Charlie Wedd managed four A*s, and 38 students managed at least three As.
Head teacher Mike Donoghue said: Our students have worked so hard and applied themselves so positively. The outcomes are richly deserved."
At Paget High School, all but one of the students hoping to go to university were accepted.
Head teacher Marc Howell said: "These results reflect yet further improvement within the sixth form here. They are the culmination of huge amounts of hard work and dedication put in by both our students and teachers. They should all be very proud of their achievements."