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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 August, 2004, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
School's 'best ever' A-levels
Cemlyn Davies (left), Sion Griffiths and Rhian James
We've done it...Cemlyn, Sion and Rhian celebrate
Staff and pupils at a high school in mid Wales are celebrating their best ever A-level results.

Ysgol Penweddig, in Aberystwyth, said its overall pass rate was 96.5%, with 86.7% achieving A to C grades.

Students were visibly tense as they arrived at the school on Thursday morning.

But tension soon turned to joy as dozens started celebrating with hugs, cheers and text messages as they gazed at their results.

Three students who recorded good marks said they were delighted.

Cemlyn Davies, 18, from Penrhyncoch, near Aberystwyth, achieved three As and one B.

We are very proud of the performance of our students
Head teacher Arwel George

Earlier this year The University of Nottingham apologised to Welsh-speaker Cemlyn after it said Welsh was not equivalent to an A-level in English.

The university said that the person handling Cemlyn's application to study French with politics had "regrettably misinterpreted" its rules on language subjects.

"I'm going to Cardiff University now to study French and politics," said Cemlyn.

"It was my target to achieve those grades and I did it.

"You set yourself a goal and it's just a matter of keeping it going."

Rhian James, from Aberystwyth, said she was both excited and happy with her results of an A and two Bs.

Head teacher Arwel George
The success is the result of a lot of hard work, said Mr George

She paid tribute to the hard work of the unsung heroes of the exam system - parents and teachers.

"Parents and teachers do an immense amount of work," said the 18-year-old who is going to Cardiff University to read history.

"They provide us with a huge amount of help and encouragement - I think my mum was more nervous than I was this morning."

Sion Griffiths, 18, achieved three As.

"I'm still in shock at the moment - I didn't get to sleep until 2am this morning," said the teenager from Aberystwyth.

"It's been two years of hard work, but now I can go to Cardiff University to study economics and management. "I needed three Bs."

Arwel George, head teacher of the private finance initiative school, said that 37% of the exam entries resulted in A grades.

Of the 49 who sat the examinations, three students achieved four straight As and seven gained three As.

'On a par'

Reacting to claims by some that A-levels are getting easier, Mr George said: "I think standards are being maintained.

"There have been studies carried out by inspectors in England and they can't find any evidence to back up the claims that A-levels are getting easier.

"It's correct that A-levels have changed, but that's because the curriculum has altered from years ago.

"We are very proud of the performance of our students.

"The boys performed on a par with the girls. This is contrary to national trends.

"The students' success is the result of a lot of hard work by them and their teachers together with the superb support given by families."


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