THOUSANDS of teenagers celebrated yesterday as the town saw one of the most successful A-level results days of all time.

There were smiles all round at New College where a record 852 A-level candidates were successful this year, pushing the college’s pass rate up to 99 per cent, a 5.6 per cent increase on last year.

A total of 36 per cent of entries earned A*, A or B grades, with students achieving a perfect 100 per cent pass rate in 35 subjects out of 51.

New College principal Graham Taylor said: “These fantastic A-level results are a credit to the talented and hard working learners we have at New College, and a tribute to the efforts and support of our staff.

“We are all extremely proud that so many of our students this year applied to university.

“This is a tricky time to be leaving further education and considering whether work, an apprenticeship or university is the best choice.”

A total of 22 students achieved three A grades or more.

This is the second year that students have been able to receive an A* grade at A2 level and today’s results saw 46 A* grades.

“Many young people are competing for fewer places in all of these options, and even more attention will be paid to the exam results gained this year, so it’s fantastic that our students have managed to secure such impressive success rates to set them in good stead whichever route they choose to go down,” Mr Taylor said.

“If any students in Wiltshire have not managed to secure a place at university it is worth them considering a more local option.

“Not only does New College offer a range of degree level courses, but this year we have announced exciting new degree courses in BSc Business Studies and LLB Law in partnership with BPP.”

The college’s 84 BTEC Extended Diploma students achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, with 76 per cent gaining distinctions.

Rebecca Ewin, of Stratton, achieved two A*s and two As in maths, accounting, business and AS further maths respectively, and will be studying maths at Leicester University.

“I needed AAB, I thought I had failed on parts of my exams in further maths and I was just so nervous,” said the 18-year-old.

“When I opened the envelope I just couldn’t believe it. I was jumping up and down, I wasn’t expecting to do half as well as that.”

Laura Moseley, 18, of Sparcells, achieved a B grade in English Language and a C in psychology and will be heading to Portsmouth University to study sociology.

Jeremy Marsh, 18, of Shaw, achieved an A, two Bs and a C and will be going to Loughborough University to study quantity surveying.

And Kirsty Dark, 19, of Old Town will be heading to Roehampton to study drama after she achieved double distinctions in her BTEC in performing arts (dance).

A total of 234 A-levels were taken by mature students, which was an increase of 23 per cent on last year’s figure. They achieved a 98.3 per cent pass rate, up 6.3 per cent on last year.