ONE of the region’s fastest improving schools has secured record results for the third time in the past four years since new management transformed its fortunes.
Darlington School of Mathematics and Science underwent a £3m makeover and complete overhaul of the curriculum, including the introduction of radical teaching methods using IT.
In 2010 the school faced a bleak future with the benchmark A*to C pass rate, including maths and English, languishing around the 30 per cent mark.
Since then the school has adopted a completely new culture and now has a GCSE pass rate of 55 per cent - a 20 per cent increase - and a record number of students going on to study at Darlington College and Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College.
Headteacher Calvin Kipling said: “The exam success is testament to hard work and innovative thinking.
“It vindicates the tireless efforts of staff and pupils and we are thrilled that so many parents and students are choosing to come to join what is becoming a dynamic seat of learning.”
Last year’s head boy James Allison led from the front by becoming the school’s most accomplished student with two A*s, seven As and two Bs.
He said: “I am really pleased with the results and looking forward to going to college.”
For students at Carmel College, 13 proved to be a lucky number for a group of 16 pupils who spent a gruelling seven hours in the exam room on May 13.
Their valiant efforts proved to have been worthwhile when they helped the college buck the national trend by achieving outstanding GCSE results, with 91 per cent of students achieving A* to C grades - 86 per cent including the benchmark English and maths.
“We are delighted with the performance of all our students this year who have succeeded in doing themselves and the college proud,” said principal Maura Regan.
Meanwhile, English grades at Longfield Academy saw a 33 per cent hike in students achieving A* to C grades taking the final total up to an impressive 88 per cent.
Maths results also rose to 78 per cent, resulting in the academy’s best ever results.
Top performing student Andrew Lambert achieved 12 A and A* grades, while Hope Murray, the highest scoring girl, was extremely happy with her 15 GCSEs, ten graded at A or A*.
Headteacher Susan Johnson said: “English and maths are the basic building blocks of a successful education so I am absolutely thrilled that our students have performed so well in these critical areas.”