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PUBLISHED: 10:19 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:02 23 August 2010

STUDENTS have been revelling in the highest annual rise in top grades for GCSEs for nearly 20 years. Teenagers from across Gravesham were celebrating their successes as, out of all secondary schools in the borough, 63.6 per cent of students achieved five

STUDENTS have been revelling in the highest annual rise in top grades for GCSEs for nearly 20 years.

Teenagers from across Gravesham were celebrating their successes as, out of all secondary schools in the borough, 63.6 per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades.

Nationally, the results recorded the biggest rise in A* and A grades since 1989, with 20.7 per cent of students awarded the top marks, last Thursday.

Across the country 65.7 per cent of exams were awarded A* to C grades, a rise of 2.4 per cent from 63.3 per cent last year.

Gravesend Grammar School for Girls student Nicola Ralph, 16, of Smarts Road, Gravesend, achieved five and a half A*, four As and a B. She said: "I am really pleased! I didn't expect to do so well, especially in French.

"I don't think they are getting much easier, like some people say, but I think A-levels will be a bit of a shock when we all start them."

Sammi-Jo Phillips, 16, of Vale Road, Gravesend, got five Bs, two As and two Cs. She said: "I am very happy, I studied hard like everyone else, and I actually expected to get a bit worse than that, so I'm pleased."

Thamesview School, on Thong Lane, Gravesend, was one of the 638 schools across the country judged as underperforming schools in June this year. The government expects 30 per cent of all pupils in these schools to get five A* to C grades by 2011, including English and Maths.

Head teacher Rhiannon Hughes said: "For the first time all Gravesham secondary schools are publishing shared results that cover all Year 11 students in the borough.

"These results clearly show that students in Gravesham as a whole have done very well at all levels of qualifications for 16-year-olds.

"Thamesview school has done astoundingly well, beyond what we ever expected so as the head teacher I

am extremely pleased."

Rebecca Liquorish, 16, of Brittania Drive, Gravesend, will be attending sixth form at Gravesend Grammar School for Boys next year.

She received two A*, three As, a B and a Distinction in her B Tec for ICT and said: "I thought they were quite hard, but I wasn't expecting them to be easy. People say

they are getting easier, but I don't think its true, I think we are just studying harder."

Colin Crowhusrt, 16, of Havisham Road, Chalk, was awarded one A, four B's three C's. He said: "I am really happy. The people that say the exams are getting easier have obviously never taken the exams before."

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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