Bitten nails and broken nights’ sleep were finally a thing of the past as hundreds of A-level students picked up the results that will shape their future.
It was a day for celebration hugs, excited phone calls to parents to relay the good news and a chance for pupils all over Banbury and beyond to relax ahead of their next step into adult life.
Eager students were already bustling down to Banbury Academy before 9am in a bid to rip open their all-important brown envelopes as soon as possible.
For 18-year-old Chris Macey, it was a moment to relish after a nervous night.
He picked up three A* grades in maths, further maths and chemistry.
“I knew I had gotten into the University of Warwick to study maths and statistics, but I wasn’t expecting to have done as well,” he said.
“It’s a great feeling.”
The impressive results were just the start for the academy, celebrating its highest ever pass rate of 98.9%. Last year, 79% of students passed two or more A-Levels - climbing to 85% this year.
Lewis Caiger, 18, is off to Bristol University to study chemistry after achieving two A*s in maths and further maths, and an A in chemistry.
He said: “I was really exited when I opened my results and now I’m just looking forward to university. I got more than I needed to get my first choice, so I was really happy.”
Headteacher Emily Gent added: “We are very proud of all the students and their exceptional results. The results really reflect their hard work and the outstanding teaching here.”
Over at Blessed George Napier, there was more excitement as students found out their grades.
Dan Hook, 18, was relieved to open his results to find he’d achieved an A* in maths, and two As in further maths and physics.
“Over the summer I managed not to think about it but yesterday and today I did start to feel very nervous,” he said.
“I hadn’t checked if I had gotten into university, so it was a relief. I’m going to the University of Bath to study physics.”
Fellow pupil Anthony Poole, 18, is off to the University of Oxford to study maths and computer science after achieving three As (further maths, physics and chemistry) and an A* in maths.
And 18-year-old Alex Cotter is looking forward to studying medicine at the University of Birmingham after gaining two A*s and an A.
Headteacher Fraser Long said many students had been granted their first choice university thanks to their hard work.
He added: “It’s great to have an Oxbridge student, a vet and a medical student here at Blessed George Napier. We’re really proud of what all the children have achieved and we wish them well in the future.”
At Warriner School, it was the first A-level results day after the sixth form opened two years ago.
And headteacher Annabel Kay said she “couldn’t have asked for a better first group of students”.
The school achieved a 96% pass rate, with 22% of pupils attaining A* and A grades. Chipping Norton School was also celebrating after achieving a 99% pass rate, with 27% of pupils getting A*s and As.
At Chenderit School, 98% of pupils passed, with 50% achieving A*, A or B grades.
Headteacher Jane Cartwright said: “I am delighted for Chenderit’s A level students, their families and teachers. Our results represent such dedication, diligence and commitment to learning by so many over a number of years.
“The futures that our students dreamed of can now be realised with virtually all of our students moving on to their destinations of choice.”
Sibford School almost doubled their rate of A*s and As from last year, with 19% of pupils achieving the top grades. They also increased their pass rate from 98% to 99%.
Kineton High School achieved a 98.4% pass rate, with a record breaking 70% being A*- C.
In its first year of offering A-Levels, more than a quarter of all grades from North Oxfordshire Academy students were A* to B and 87 per cent of pupils passed their subjects.
Karlena Clifford received an A in maths and a C in further maths having completed both AS and A2 courses in just one year.
She has been accepted on to a maths degree course at Loughborough University.