STUDENTS across Colchester have proved to be shining stars despite a national dip in the proportion of academic youngsters achieving top grades at A-level.

Around 300,000 teenagers across the UK received their results yesterday.

Students at Colchester Institute, Colchester Sixth Form College, Colchester Royal Grammar School, Colchester County High School for Girls, Philip Morant College, Thurstable Sixth Form Centre and Colne Community College were among those eagerly awaiting their grades.

At Colchester Sixth Form College, 98 per cent of students achieved A* to E and close to 50 per cent achieved A* to B.

Luke Williams achieved three A* grades in Biology, Geology and Environmental Science and hopes to study Environmental Geoscience at the University of Bristol.

Luke, 18, said: “I’m delightfully surprised, it was a really hard process. I feel I worked hard but was not expecting the Biology result.

“I still managed to go on holiday to Lanzarote, Vegas, Madrid and I went skiing, but I took revision everywhere with me.”

Amber Inman, 18, achieved three A*s in Biology, English and Psychology.

The student from Colchester said: “I’m sort of in shock, I was revising every second. I’m going to King’s College London to study Psychology and would like to work in clinical psychology.”

At Colchester County High School for Girls 58 per cent of grades were A* or A and the students achieved the highest percentage of A* grades in the history of the school.

Lottie Anstee was delighted with four A* grades. She plays flute in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and performed at the Barbican and at London’s South Bank Centre.

Lottie is going to Cambridge University to study music.

She said: “I would like to thank all my teachers and everyone at Essex Music Services for everything they have done to help me in my exciting musical journey.”

Students were jumping for joy at Colchester Royal Grammar School.

The percentage of grades at A* were the best the school has seen, with almost 30 per cent of grades being awarded at the highest level, and 20 students achieving four A* grades or more.

Headteacher John Russell said: “Our students will now move on to the best universities across the world, with many going to Oxford and as well as top universities in Canada and Hong Kong.”

Louisa Davison, 18, achieved four A*s in Latin, French, Religious Studies and History.

Louisa, from Chelmsford, said: “I feel pretty ecstatic. It was a gruelling process but it was worth it. I didn’t have a life for a while.”

She will be heading to Cambridge University to study History.

Elsie Gray, 18, achieved four A*s in Geography, Biology, Art and English literature.

The student from Colchester said: “I am so relieved, it has been a long time coming. Nothing was guaranteed so I hoped for the best but prepared for the worst.

“I turned 18 two days after finishing my exams so it was a big reward.

“It feels strange saying I’ll be going to Oxford to study English. I have a reading list to get through now, I love to read.”

At Thurstable Sixth Form Centre in Tiptree, all students who were seeking a university place secured one and 52 per cent of all grades achieved were A* or A at A level or equivalent grades in other exams including BTECs.

Philip Morant College said a number of students achieved a coveted A* or A grade and there was a marked increase in students achieving top grades in technical and applied general qualifications.

John Lovett, head of sixth form, said: “Many of our students achieved better than their target grades and I would like to congratulate them.

“Whilst many students are off to university there is also an increasing number who are choosing apprenticeships.”

The Gazette did not receive results from the Colne Community College in Brightlingsea.

Nationally the proportion of students getting top A-level grades has fallen to its lowest level for more than a decade.

This year 25.5 per cent got an A grade or higher - the lowest level since 2007 when it was 25.3 per cent.

There is now less coursework and students are graded on their performance in end-of-course exams. The aim was to make exams tougher to keep pace with the highest-performing countries.