STUDENTS and their schools across Bexley have been celebrating the borough's best ever GCSE results, with a big leap in the numbers of pupils gaining five GCSEs in the top A* to C grades.

Many schools have broken their own previous best performances.

The oldest success story was Mollie Hills, aged 80, from Welling, who achieved a C grade in Latin after taking adult education classes.

St Catherine's RC Girls School

At St Catherine's RC Girls School in Watling Street, Bexleyheath, the number of girls achieving five top grade results leapt from 66 per cent of pupils last year to 79 per cent this year.

Sixteen girls achieved eight or more A* and A grades, including Katie-Anne Gresley who achieved nine A* and American Georgette Toworfe who got two A* and three As despite joining the school from the USA only six months ago.

Between them 139 girls took 1,282 exams and achieved a 99.8 per cent overall pass rate in grades A* to G. Head Susan Powell said she was delighted.

Hurstmere School

It was the same story at Hurstmere School in Hurst Road, Sidcup, where boys achieved record breaking results for the second year in a row. Their A* to C pass rate was 79.5. Two hundred students took 1,629 exams between them achieving an overall pass rate of 98 per cent.

Top performers at the school were Daryl Elliott (three A*, 2As and six Bs), James Kane (six As, two Bs and two Cs), Ben Schwencke(an A*, three As and seven Bs), Luke Fabian (seven As, one B and one C), Daniel Smith (six As and three Bs), Richard Langdon (five As and four Bs) and paul Saunders (one A*, five As, four Bs and one C).

Head Andrew Stringer said: "The school is particularly pleased that it has recorded the best ever English and maths results this year. It was a team effort."

St Mary and St Joseph's RC School

At St Mary and St Joseph's RC School in Chislehurst Road, Sidcup, the success was bittersweet. Pupils achieved an outstanding 90 per cent pass rate in the top five grades. But reorganisation means the school will close in 2008.

A total of 148 pupils took exams and achieved an overall pass rate of 81.7 per cent.

High-fliers included Joshua Nwanazia (five A* and seven As), identical twins Tom and Matt Stankowski, Laura Sugrue (three A* and nine As), Bose Bakare (three A* and eight As), and twins Chris and Heidi Pullig. Chris got three A* and eight As and Heidi three A* and seven As.

Head James Flannery said: "Overall the Year 11 students' results are the best the school has ever achieved. They reflect the hard work and commitment of a staff who have stayed loyal to the school, despite the challenge of impending closure."

Bexley Business Academy

Bexley Business Academy in Yarnton Road, Thamesmead, was also celebrating. Despite 61 per cent of the Year 11 pupils having special educational needs, 32 per cent got five top grade exam results.

Altogether 90 students took a total 1,498 exams and achieved an overall A* to G grades pass rate of 100 per cent.

The academy is now achieving results comparable to similar non-selective schools in Bexley. Chief executive Sam Price said: "Our results are up in every aspect."

Academy principal Duncan Spalding said the results were an outstanding achievement. He added: "The students are a credit to themselves, the academy and to their teachers."

Trinity CofE School

At Trinity CofE School in Erith Road, Belvedere, created in 1994, the number of pupils getting five top grade GCSEs jumped by 12 per cent to 55 per cent this year, smashing all their targets.

With 154 students sitting the exams, the school achieved an overall pass rate A* to G grades of 100 per cent with nearly 98 per cent of pupils gaining at least five passes.

More than a fifth of the grades achieved were A*, As and Bs. Outstanding individual performances included Michael Healey (four A* and two As), Laura Haile (six As), Hannah Wilcox (two A8 and three As), Alexander Owusu (four As), Chloe Mace (two A* and four As), Catherine Janes (four As) and Emma Page (four As).

Headteacher Ian Collins said the results were a great boost for pupils and their parents and the school staff. He added: "There are as many triumphs in the results of students who do not reach the academic heights."

Bexleyheath School

Bexleyheath School pupils also leapt ahead 12 percentage points with 41 per cent getting five A* to C grades this year and the school achieved an overall pass rate of 100 per cent for the first time.

Head Malcolm Noble said: "We are proud of the achievements of all our pupils."

Among the school's top achievers were Reena Achall (three A*, two As, three Bs and one C), Lauren Adams (five As, four Bs and one C), Benjamin Clements (three As, four Bs and one C), Beth Douglas-Fillingham (five As and five Bs), Victoria Pearce (four As, four Bs and three Cs), Huan(corr) Yang-Williams (two A*, four As and three Bs) and Gemma Hemsley (two As, five Bs and three Cs).

Cleeve Park School

There was a 47 per cent pass rate in the top five grades at Cleeve Park School in Bexley Lane, Sidcup.

This year 212 students took 1,878 exams between them and achieved an overall pass rate in A* to C grades of 92 per cent.

The school gained a 100 per cent pass rate in the health and social care double award, English literature, PE, food technology and design and technology (resistant materials).

Star pupils were Tharsika Thayalaparan, Sammy Khuddro and James Wade who passed all their subjects at A*, A and B grades, achieving 24 A* and A grade passes between them.

Tharsika and Sammy also gained their GCSE design and technology (product design) at a B grade last summer - a year early.

St Columba's RC Boys' School

At St Columba's RC Boys' School in Halcot Avenue, Bexleyheath, 65 per cent of the boys got at least five exams at grades A* to C, the highest the school has ever achieved and it was a 10 per cent increase on last year's results.

In art and design there was an 87 per cent pass rate in grades A* to C and 73 per cent for music. The school becomes a specialist college in performing and visual arts from September.

Science results were also strong with 85 per cent of passes in the top four grades for physics, 89 per cent in chemistry and 81 per cent in biology.

The overall pass rate for for five A* to G grades, for the 140 boys who took exams this year, was 94 per cent.

Top students were James Mayell (three A*, four As and six Bs0, Billy Stewart (three A*, four As and six Bs) and Edward Ademolu (one A*, five As, six Bs and one C).

Headteacher Bart Cannon said the results showed "this school is continuing to make excellent progress in raising standards for all."

Blackfen School

This year's results at Blackfen School for Girls in Blackfen Road, Blackfen, were also the best in the school's history. All the girls achieved at least five GCSEs at grades A* to G and 65 per cent got at least five in the top A* to C grades.

Pupils also performed well above the national average in English, maths and science and one student overcame serious illness to achieve all A* to C grades.

Among the top performers were Danielle Hardie (six A* and four As), Hayley King (five A* and five As) and Amy Andrews and Kelsey McCue who achieved all A*, As and Bs.

Head Louise Sharples said: "We are thrilled by all the results, whether for those who gained the very highest grades, or for those who have improved their life chances by achieving beyond their expectations at lower levels."

Erith School

There were 334 students at Erith School in Avenue Road, Erith, who took 3,265 exams between them and achieved an overall pass rate of 93.1 per cent for five A* to G grades. Of those, 36 per cent got at least five passes at A* to C grades.

Not only was this year the best A* to C pass rate for three years - two per cent up on last year - 99 per cent of pupils got at least one GCSE this year.

Pass rates in individual subjects included French 83 per cent, art 81 per cent, design technology (textiles) 77 per cent, (resistant materials) 61 per cent, art and design (vocational) 71 per cent and geography 68 per cent. In maths 42 per cent of pupils passed with an A* to C grade, in ITC 76 per cent and sport 69 per cent.

Among the school's outstanding students this year were Chloe Howard (three A*, four As , three Bs and one C), Kiranjit Thind (six As, five Bs and one C), Cathy Dadds (six As, two Bs and three Cs), Sarah Carter (two As, six Bs and one C), Christina Garnham (three As, six Bs and two Cs), Mark Shead (one A, nine Bs and one C), Ran Maris (four As, three Bs and five Cs), Rhianne Richards (five As, one B and five Cs), Oluwadara Jegede (four As, three Bs and six Cs) and Richard McGill (two As, seven Bs and five Cs).

Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School

Top of the pile came the borough's four grammar schools with several pupils among the top five in the country in one subject.

Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School in Hurst Road, Sidcup, achieved a pass rate, grades A* to G of 99.8 per cent and 99.5 per cent of its pupils got at least five exams at grades A* to C. Altogether 190 pupils took 1698 exams between them.

Jason Lobo was in the top five out of 3,313 AQA students nationwide for his Italian GCSE and Perle Buck, who took GCSE French a year early, was in the top five AQA students out of 114,455 nationwide.

Other top performers were Hannah Keen (nine A*, three As and one C), Roseanne Ashley-Laniffe (six A* and six As), Jonathan Crook (nine A* and three As) and Shadia Henne (three A* and nine As).

Headteacher Dr Joe Vitagliano described the results as "very pleasing."

Bexley Grammar School

All 222 pupils at Bexley Grammar School in Danson Lane, Welling, got at least five GCSEs in the top A* to C grades and 42 per cent got passes at A* and A grades.

Between them they took 2,360 exams with most students sitting 12 subjects, and 101 got at least five A grades and 177 at least one A grade pass. Two students each achieved 12 A* passes and another two 11 A* passes.

Head Rob McKinnon said the results reflected the confident progress of the school and its pupils.

He added: "This year group have set high standards and succeeded academically, while retaining character and being fully involved in the extra-curricular life of the school."

Townley Grammar School

Townley Grammar School, Townley Road, Bexleyheath, also achieved a 100 per cent pass rate of A* to G grades while 94 per cent of pupils got at least five A* to C grade passes.

Altogether 211 pupils sat 2,166 exams and 54.5 per cent five or more A* or A grades.

Three pupils were in the top five students in the country for one of their subjects - Laura Cater in Italian, Kate Wyvil in English literature and Gloria Aruede in French.

Other top performers were Marianne de Brito, Theeba Krishnamoorthy, Noar Mahdi, Shirley Wong and Jeanne Chan - who achieved 10 A* each. Gloria Auede and Georgina Stroud got nine A* and one A each and Danielle Jeeves got nine A* passes.

Beths Grammar School

There were more top-class performances at Beths Grammar School in Hartford Road, Bexley Village where 157 pupils sat 1,696 exams between them.

They achieved a 99.9 per cent pass rate overall with 96.8 per cent of pupils gaining at least five A* to C grades.

Among the top exams results were Graeme Morrison (nine A* and three As), Matthew Neale (seven A* and four As), Thomas Morgan (seven A* and four As), Matthew Franklin (six A* and six As) and Daniel Sumner (five A* and seven As).