Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College in North Tyneside has today expressed their delight with an "incredibly strong" A-level pass-rate.

North Shields-based Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College head Denise Bolton spoke out after the initial analysis of results showed that her students had achieved very good pass rates.

"Having seen the raw data we are looking at an overall pass-rate which is incredibly strong and shows that the philosophy behind having a specialist A-level centre works," Mrs Bolton said.

"In line with the government agenda and new industry and technology needs, we are focused on driving STEM subjects forward and we have seen a significant improvement in results, particularly in the areas of Physics and Maths where the results are outstanding.

"Excellent English and History results also provide a very strong basis for university entry with A* grades at Queen Alexandra this year. The partnership approach with three feeder schools is a sound basis for a drive to an outstanding centre overall and shows the fantastic progress the college has made since opening in September 2010.

"In terms of Maths we are thrilled that we have a 100 per cent pass rate and half of those are high grades which is the same in Physics and they are subjects that are recognised as being very difficult for students to achieve high grades. Students and staff have worked incredibly hard and we are very proud of their achievements."

Celebrating college students were quick to praise Mrs Bolton's team on results day.

Former Marden High School pupil Helen Younger, from Abbey Drive, Tynemouth, is preparing to head to Edinburgh Napier University to study English after gaining an A* in English, an A-grade in Psychology and a B in Media Studies. 

"I didn't see that A* coming at all so I was really amazed but also really relieved because I had bought all the books on my university reading list even though I wasn't definitely going so I'm glad my money wasn't wasted," said Helen, 18.

"I can't wait to get there but I feel sad that I've leaving Queen Alex behind. It's smaller than some other colleges but for me that is what makes Queen Alex so special because you get plenty of opportunities for one-to-one teaching and it's a really friendly place and I'd like to think it is the perfect bridge between school and university."

Former Norham High School pupil Craig McLennan, from Langley Road, North Shields, had the perfect 18th birthday present with a hat-trick of A-grades and is about to embark on a History Degree at Northumbria University.

"It was definitely the best birthday present I could have had and getting the results was the perfect start to the big day," said Craig after earning A-grades in History, Biology and Psychology and a C-grade in Classical Civilisation.

"I have had an amazing time at Queen Alex because there has been such a lot of support from the teachers who really have been like friends because you have such a good relationship with them because it is not like school. You come here and enjoy yourself but you work hard and learn as well, it's the perfect chemistry."