THERE were shrieks of joy, screams of excitement and tears of jubilation as students at Archway School collected their GCSE results on Thursday, August 21.

With teachers and parents looking on, students filed into the school shortly after 9.30am to pick up the white envelopes marked with their names and containing their scores.

When they re-emerged into the playground a few minutes later, there were scenes of ecstasy and delight as visibly relieved students were congratulated by teachers and offered hugs and kisses from friends and family members.

Amid the excited chatter and odd fist-pump, headteacher Colin Belford spoke of his pride at what this year’s group of Year 11 students had achieved.

“I’m pleased and most importantly the kids are pleased,” he said. “The results are ever so slightly down on last year but as you heard from that shriek and as you have seen from all the smiles around the place there are plenty of happy students.

“This is definitely one of the most rewarding days as a teacher. It was brilliant last week with the A-level results and it is the same feeling again today.”

Overall, 55 per cent of Year 11 students at Archway obtained five GCSE’s including maths and English.

One of those was Beth Mason, 16, who received 10 GCSE’s including four As, three Bs, a distinction in ICT and three A*s in RE, English literature and chemistry.

She said: “I wasn’t really nervous until I got here and I had the envelope in my hands and then I really didn’t want to open it.”

“But then I did and I felt okay. I’m really happy in fact, I wasn’t expecting to get that many A*s.

Another star student was 16-year-old Maya Owen, from Stroud, who scored 7 As along with three A*s in English literature, physics and French.

Maya, who will now go on to study for A-levels in art, theatre studies, English literature and French, said: “I’m really glad I did so well. Opening this envelope was probably one of the scariest things I have done in my entire school life.”

Alex Holmes will also be continuing with her studies next year after achieving top grades.

The 16-year-old, who lives in Uplands, got one A*, one A, four Bs, two Cs and a distinction in ICT.

She is now planning to attend Cirencester College, where she hopes to take A-levels in art, IT, maths and ethics.

“Throughout the whole holiday I have been pretty relaxed but this morning I was very nervous. It kind of hit me that this was actually it. I’m pretty happy with how I did though.”

A beaming Bridget Durrant, the head of Year 11, said: “I’m absolutely delighted for all the students. They worked really really hard and they deserve what they got. There have been some stunning individual results.”