HARD work and dedication paid off for Marling students who celebrated the school’s best ever A-level results on Thursday morning.

Forty per cent of results were A to A* grades with 17 per cent at A* – well above national figures. The percentage of grades at A* to B was 66 per cent – a school record – and the overall pass rate was 99 per cent.

A large number of students exceeded predicted grades with 30 students achieving three A grade passes or better, 19 scoring at least two A*s and 40 receiving at least one A*.

Tom Heathfield, 18, who scored two A*s and one A, said: “I spent two months leading up to my exams studying, cramming in revision and worked really hard.”

After a gap year travelling around South East Asia, he plans to study politics at university.

Benjamin Horn, 18, is off to study English at Royal Holloway in London after picking up A*, A and C grades.

“I am so relieved to have been accepted by my first choice,” he said.

Most students have secured places at their first choice universities with nine securing places at Oxbridge and several starting courses in medicine.

Joss Barton, who achieved two A*s and an A grade, secured a place at Bristol to study law but is now considering applying to Cambridge because of his outstanding grades.

“I am overjoyed and surprised,” said Joss, who plans to work and save up enough money to travel in Asia before starting at university next year.

Headteacher Dr Stuart Wilson said: “This is a wonderful set of results and I am thrilled for our students.

“The boys had high aspirations and set themselves challenging targets.

“They worked hard for two years and really deserve their success.”