IT was a day of celebration at Peter Symonds College in Winchester as students discovered whether their hard work had paid off on A-level results day.

The sixth form students found out whether they had secured those all-important grades to go to their chosen universities.

There were smiles and cheers all round for most, as more than a third of grades awarded were A* or A.

The pass rate was maintained at 99 percent and the proportion of the highest grades of A*, A and B increased from 62 percent last year to 64 percent.

Twins James and Toby Houston are both going to Birmingham to study economics. James received three As and Toby got three A*s.

Toby said: “I did better than I thought. I wasn’t too worried but it’s a nice feeling to have got into university.”

Stephanie Light, 18, gained a place to study history of art at Manchester.

She said: “I’m completely relieved, I don’t think I went to sleep last night at all.”

Friends Beth, Issy and Chloe all got the grades they wanted.

Beth will study biochemistry at either Reading or Southampton, Issy primary school teaching at Oxford Brookes and Chloe is studying classics and English at Edinburgh.

Chloe said: “I’m really happy, even though I could have done even better.”

Maddy Wilson gained three A*s and an A, and has accepted a place at Durham to read classics. Her boyfriend, Harry Talks, gained 3A*s and is taking a gap year where he hopes to work and also play hockey in Perth before applying to Oxbridge.

Maddy said: “It’s a relief – I hoped I’d get in as I needed three As. We will all celebrate later.”

“We are both looking forward to it.”

Principal Stephen Carville congratulated the pupils on their achievements.

He said: “The determination, commitment and dedication of our students and staff have so clearly born fruit once again: a truly remarkable performance by many young people.

“I am immensely proud. This shows that Symonds remains the perfect place for ambition.”

At Fareham College students smashed expectations, with one in five students completing their level three BTEC extended diplomas achieving the highest possible grade of D*D*D* (a triple distinction), which is equivalent to top A* and A grades at A-level.

Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of students achieved the highest grades available in their chosen discipline, while overall the college celebrated its students achieving A-level pass rates of 98.9 per cent.