Delighted teenagers at Uttoxeter's only high school have seen two years of hard work and pressure pay off after acing new, tougher GCSE papers.
Hundreds of youngsters flocked to Thomas Alleyne's High School this morning, August 24, to open their brown envelopes.
Papers were tougher and grade boundary thresholds higher, meaning pass rates fell slightly nationally.
And maths, English language and English literature results came in numbers, rather than letter grades. Roughly speaking, level nine was equivalent to a high A*, level eight to a high A and level five to a low B.
Hannah Brown, from Marchington, was one of the stand-out performers, having got level nines in maths, English language and English literature.
The 16-year-old was "shocked" to also get eight A*s and an A in her other subjects.
She said: "I was so nervous when I was about to open that envelope, but was shocked when I saw what I'd got. My mum even cried a bit. I didn't think exams had gone so well. They felt really, really hard."
Hannah is coming back to Alleyne's to study biology, chemistry and psychology in the sixth form next year.
Another high achiever was Joanna Thornett, from Hollington, who got level nine in maths and level eight in English language and literature.
The brainy 16-year-old also got six A*s, including all three sciences, two As and a B.
She will also return to the sixth form to study the daunting combination of maths, further maths, chemistry and physics.
She said: "I'm so pleased with my results and my top marks were all in the subjects I hoped I'd do well in.
"It's a big surprise, to be honest. I'd like to thank my maths teacher, Rebecca Ibbs, who has put so much effort into helping every pupil she's taught."
Despite exam success, some pupils have decided call time on their academic studies. One of those is Ewan Jones, from Abbots Bromley, who got an A* in PE and level fives in maths, English language and English literature. His other results were all Bs.
His is off to Hartpury College, in Gloucestershire, to enroll on the GB Start rowing programme.
Already training with the British rowing team, the giant 16-year-old will join a college which has trained 50 per cent of UK rowing Olympians in recent times.
He said: "I'm pretty happy with my results. I got the A* in PE, which is what I really needed.
"Now my ambition is to represent Great Britain in rowing and I'm so excited to be taking up this amazing opportunity. My dream is one day to row in the Olympics and I can't wait to get started at Hartpury College."
Other top performers included Ruby Woollard, from Great Gate, who got seven A*s, an A, a 9 in maths and 7s in English Literature and English Language; James Cooksedge, from Doveridge, who got seven A*s and four As; Lauren Walker, from Uttoxeter, who got three A*s and eight As; Callum Perett, from Tean, who got four A*s and four As, and Joseph Martin, from Uttoxeter, who got two A*s and seven As.
Last year, Alleyne's was way ahead of the national average of 67 per cent of pupils getting five A*-to-C grades, including English and maths.
A total of more than 75 per cent got the grades at the Dove Bank school - and more than a quarter of the grades achieved were A* or A.
A complete overhaul in this year's examination system made it difficult to compare today's results with last year's.
Like many other schools, Alleyne's has not released its pupils' overall pass rates, but they will be revealed in national league tables published in the autumn.
Head teacher Julie Rudge did reveal 69 per cent got passes - or level four - in maths and 73 per cent passed English literature.
A total of 18 per cent of maths entrants got level eight or nine.
This was marginally above the national average of nearly 69 per cent for maths and 72 per cent passing English literature. The national pass rate across the UK was 66 per cent.
An Alleyne's spokesman said: "In Maths 18 per cent of the cohort achieved the highest grades, levels nine or eight on the newly-designed GCSEs. Performance in Science and Maths is particularly strong with 28 per cent of students who studied physics, chemistry or biology, achieving an A or A*.
"Similarly over 25 per cent of PE and Art students attained an A* or A grade. The grade nines have been designed to recognise the top three per of students in individual subjects across the country."
Mrs Rudge said: "I am delighted for those students whose hard work has been rewarded by some outstanding results. Thank to parents, governors and school staff for the support they have given to our young people.’
"We look forward to welcoming many of them back into our sixth form on September 9 and wish all of them continued success in their studies."
Head of governors and Uttoxeter mayor Alison Trenery said: "‘I was in school today to see our GCSE students achieve another great set of results. It is particularly pleasing to see the students have coped so well with the considerable national changes to GCSE structures, courses and marking this year.
"On behalf of the governors I would like to congratulate the students and thank staff parents and families for their tremendous support."