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Thursday, 16 August, 2001, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Dutch boy tops the class
students opening results
The moment of truth for students in Birmingham
A Dutch schoolboy who attended a top English public school has been awarded seven A grades at A-level.

Frederick van der Wyck, who went to Westminster School in central London, had already notched up one A-level - in French - last year.

This year the 18-year-old scored A grades Dutch, German, history, mechanics, physics, pure maths and statistics, making him possibly the highest-achieving student in this year's A-levels.

Frederick van der Wyck
"I can relax now", says Frederick
He is planning to read maths at St John's College, Oxford.

Modestly, Frederick said he was just relieved to have got the results he wanted.

"I had hoped for seven, but I didn't expect it really. I'm just pleased I can relax now," he said.

The student, who lives with his family in the Netherlands, played down his success.

"I had to do lots of work for those, but Dutch doesn't really count because my parents are Dutch, and maths is really one subject not three."

Frederick is now planning to travel to Austria for a holiday before going to university.

His father, Otto, said he was very proud of his son.

"What's nice is that he combines the sciences with the languages and the maths," he said .

Jennifer Peachey
"I'm perfectly normal" says star pupil Jennifer Peachey
"He is a very, very well-rounded person, not just a nerd."

Another student celebrating is Jennifer Peachey, who achieved six A grades A-levels at the state-school Colchester County High School for Girls in Essex.

She is working in Japan as a television presenter and model as part of her gap year before going to Cambridge to study archaeology and anthropology.

Jennifer said she was pleased with her results, but did not feel particularly special.

"I'm perfectly normal. Because I went to a school where a grade B was the norm, I don't feel particularly special, which is nice," she said

At Cadbury College in Birmingham, many pupils were delighted with their performances.

'Excited and nervous'

Hammell was very pleased with an A and two Bs, which he said would get him to university.

"I wasn't expecting these grades. I was expecting lower.

"But this is brilliant. I should get into Leeds to study statistics and management."

Thon picked up two As and a C and was also delighted.

"I'm very pleased, excited but also quite nervous," she said.

With three As and a C, Tom will have no trouble getting his place at Cardiff to study law and politics, but he has opted to take a year out before deciding what to do.

Lydia had been very nervous before opening her results, but was pleased with her A and two Bs: "I'm going to university and that's all that matters," she said.

Dozens of teenagers gathered in the rain outside Manchester High School for Girls to get their grades.

The overall pass rate at the school is 99.1% - higher than the national pass rate of 86.6%.

Girls there are annoyed at suggestions that exams are getting easier.

Nicole Goldstein got four As, including one of the top five marks in the country for her history A-level.

Pallavi Mishra
Pallavi Mishra: "A-levels are not getting easier, we all worked hard"
Nicole - who is going to Cambridge to study history - said: "I'm relieved it's all over.

These exams are not getting easier at all.

"You work hard and you get what you deserve."

Another student, Pallavi Mishra, achieved three A grades and is also going to Cambridge.

"A-levels are not getting easier," she said.

"I found them hard. We have all worked hard to get our results."

The school's head teacher, Christine Lee-Jones, said the results reflected the hard work and dedication of the girls and their teachers.

Bookmakers William Hill said it had been forced to pay out on the largest exam results bet it has ever taken.

The mother and aunt of 18-year-old Yan Li Kathy Lee, from Croydon in Surrey, won 1,200 after betting she would get three As in maths, law and economics.

The BBC's Navdip Dhariwal
"Girls are still outperforming the boys"
David Hart, National Association of Head Teachers
"Standards are not being dumbed down"
Have A-levels become feminised?
Angela Phillips, of Goldsmiths college and Chris Woodhead, former Chief Inspector of schools discuss
Exam results in the UK



Success stories


Row over new exams



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30 Mar 01 | UK Education
26 Jun 01 | UK Education
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