Students at Emmanuel College, in Gateshead, are on cloud nine after rising to the challenge of new, tougher GCSEs.

In the more rigorous maths course, more than one in ten students gained the new top grade nine, which is higher than the old A* and which only four per cent of students across the country are expected to achieve.

Across all subjects, 35 per cent of all grades were A or better with 89 per cent of all grades at C or better.

Oliver Hogg gained a trio of grade nines in maths, English literature and English language while a further eight students – Joel Barney, Roshan Beadle, Daniel Calland, Connor Charlton, Anna Corbett, Michael Farrell, Holly Ip and Aaron Morris – gained two grade nines across both English and maths.

Aaron Morris is among a group of five budding Formula One engineers who are heading to Malaysia to compete for Great Britain in the prestigious F1 in Schools competition. Together, the team that also includes Lucy Brooks, Morgan Lisk, Michael Farrell and Sam Chapman, engineered 34 grade As or better between them.

Nine students gained straight A*s and As – Michael Farrell, Daniel Calland, Nikhil Smith, Anna Corbett, Caitlin Leverett, Oliver Hogg, Jack Spreadbury, Jack Greenslade and Gemma Wilcox.

There was individual success in art for Chloe Bush, Daisy Emerton, Emma Graham and Abbie McArdle who all achieved 100 per cent contributing to an amazing departmental achievement of nearly 45 per cent A* grades.

In addition, there was success for Nikhil Smith (who achieved 100 per cent in both RE and Latin), Holly Ip (who achieved 100 per cent in RE) and Daniel Calland (who achieved 100 per cent in French).

Principal Matt Waterfield said: “We are delighted that after considerable hard work from both students and staff, 90 per cent of students gained a standard pass in both English and maths at GCSE (grade 4 or above) with 71 per cent of students achieving the new benchmark grade 5 pass in both English and maths.

“The chemistry, technology, economics, computing, Latin, music and drama departments are all celebrating after achieving 100 per cent of grades at C or better with particular cause for celebration in technology, physics, chemistry, German, RE, economics, computing, and Art where over half of all results were at A or better. All students in Latin achieved an A or A* with music close behind with 85 per cent A/A* grades.”