Exceptional students at Woodham Academy have been praised for attaining the highest possible grade under the tough new GCSE system – the very rare Grade 9.

Eight students at Woodham Academy achieved the new Grade 9, introduced this year for Maths and English, ranking them among the very best in the country. To gain a Grade 9, students are required to achieve almost full marks in their exams.

Remarkably, Holly Killip attained her Grade 9 in English Language while still in Year 10. Year 11 students Connor Gibson-Walker and Harry Pearson each achieved a Grade 9 in Maths, while English Grade 9s went to Lisa Robinson, Matthew Beddard, Josef Bedford, Josh Blackburn and Aimee Laycock

Their achievements at Woodham Academy has prepared all of these Year 11 students to go on and study some of the most demanding A- level subjects at either Durham Sixth Form Centre or Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington.

Deputy Headteacher Andrew Bell said: “Woodham Academy drives, encourages and motivates our more able students, and provides them with bespoke support, to help them achieve the highest possible grades and prepare them to go on to excel at college and university.”

Woodham Academy provided extra support for students across both subjects, including lessons after school and during holidays, breakfast clubs, and personalised plans for each student. The school also took students to masterclasses at the County Durham Leadership Centre in Spennymoor and arranged visits to Woodham from subject specialists.