AFTER an agonising wait, students from across West Berkshire are collecting their A-level results today.
The Newbury Weekly News team of reporters and photographers are at schools across the district this morning to get the reaction from pupils and headteachers as those all-important envelopes are opened.
We will be updating this article as the results come in throughout the day, from about 8.30am.
Then, in next Thursday’s paper, we will be publishing all the pictures from the day.
This year is the first where many students have sat the new, reformed A-level examinations, where AS results no longer count towards the full A-level, but rather the grade rests on the result of the exams sat at the end of the two years.
From all at the NWN, we wish the best of luck to everyone receiving their results today.
Remember to keep refreshing this page.
Results at Theale Green School are in - and 24 per cent of students achieved A*-A, 58 per cent got A*-B grades and 84 per cent achieved A*-C.
Dr Sally Beeson said: "They are really positive results and an improvement on last year.
"We got some really really strong placements into universities and apprenticeships including students going to Oxford and students going off to study medicine.
"The students should be really proud of their efforts."
Results are in from The Willink School in Burghfield - where 4.4 per cent of students got A* grades, 16 per cent achieved A*-A, 46 per cent achieved A*-B and 75.1 per cent achieved A*-C grades.
Headteacher Peter Fry said: "We are delighted to announce this set of excellent results and congratulate our students in their successes.
"It is, of course, wonderful once again to have students achieving the maximum and gaining places at top universities."
Advice from Matt Garvey, managing director of West Berkshire Training Consortium (WBTC):
1. Don’t panic. Life is a marathon not a sprint and if university is not for you there are other great options.
2. Many new and well-known businesses are offering apprenticeships aimed at A-level leavers. These opportunities often come with a structured career development package and a good starting salary.
3. You can earn while you learn progressing to a Higher or even Degree Apprenticeship.
4. The UK average wage for an apprentice is £15,000 with many progressing well beyond that as they develop their skills and expertise.
5. For an 18-year-old opening A-levels today, imagine, by the age of 21 you’ll be qualified to a higher level, have three years exceptional work experience and probably saved the deposit on your first home.
6. Many of our former apprentices from the 1980s and 1990s are now managers, directors and company owners with apprentices of their own.
Call WBTC on (01635) 36975, visit our Facebook page or pop in for advice and guidance. We have some awesome opportunities waiting for you.
UCAS has congratulates the 416,310 students who have been accepted at UK universities and colleges so far this year and offered some words of advice.
Applicants can now sign in to Track to see if they have been accepted or are eligible for Clearing – they’ll be able to add a Clearing choice from 3pm (UK time) today.
Clare Marchant, UCAS’ chief executive, said: "Congratulations to everyone who has received good news today. On behalf of everyone at UCAS, well done and best of luck for your studies.
"If you have not done as well as you had hoped, try not to worry – you have plenty of options, and every year many people who have missed out on their grades find high quality and rewarding courses through Clearing.
"Make sure you take some time to think about what you want to do next, and seek advice from those who know you best – parents, teachers, and friends.
"If you decide you want to start a degree this year, UCAS can offer all the support you need.
"You can search around 45,000 courses with Clearing vacancies on ucas.com – you’ll need to contact universities and colleges directly to discuss the courses you’re interested in before deciding if you want to accept an offer.
"To all those who do secure a place, remember you are embarking on a fantastic, life-enriching stage of your education.
"You will make friends and memories that will last a lifetime, and have the chance to learn in a world-leading education sector. Take all the opportunities that come your way, and enjoy the experience."
The former deputy head boy, Toby Holloway and former head girl, Katherine Langley at Park House School both received the results they needed.
Katherine received an A* and 2 x As which was what she expected and sees her going to Arts University in Bournemouth to do a foundation course in Art and Design.
Toby got the results he needed to go to Imperial College, London to study Geology with an A*, A, and 2 x Bs.
The new head boy, Luke Barlow and head girl, Lili Atraki did well in their AS Levels with Luke receiving an A in Maths, and Lili getting her expected A + B. Well done all!
St Bart's student Marc Cunnington, 18, achieved 2 x A* and 2 x A which he said was: “Better than I expected although it was what I was predicted.”
He will be studying Chemistry at Edinburgh university in September, but is travelling to Mallorca with school friend Emma Lalande, 18 who got 4 x A* and an A* in EPQ. She said: “These were better than I expected.” When she returns from Mallorca she will start at Oxford studying Biomedical Sciences.
There was delight at Thatcham's Kennet School where all 149 A-level pupils passed.
The percentage of grades at A* to A was 34 (up from 25 per cent last year); A*-B was 67 per cent (an increase on the 57 per cent last year), while A* to C grades stood at 89 per cent (84 per cent in 2016).
Ten per cent of grades (33) were A*.
Headteacher Paul Dick said: "These results reflect the superior quality of teaching and relationships in the Sixth Form that are amongst the best we have seen.
"I want to personally thank this talented group of young people for the tremendous contribution that have made over time to the success of Kennet and amongst them are certainly future leaders locally and beyond. Well done one and all.
High flyers were Rebecca Terry with 4 A*s (and an A* in extended project)
Matthew O'Callaghan 3A*s and 1A
Joe Bovington 2A*s and 1A
Samuel Whiting 2A*s and 1A
Mitchell Tate 1A* and 3A's (and an A* in extended project)
Oliver Pring 1A*, 2As and a B (and an A* in extended project)
Rosie Alsey 1A* and 2As (and an A* in extended project)
Alexander Crossman 1A*, 2As and 1B
Alex Kaminski 1A*, 2A and 1B
Emma Beach 1A* 2As
Maya Shingadia 1A* and 2As.
10.31am St Bart's School twins Sam and Alex Jarman, 18, both received the same A level results; A* and 2 As. The are starting an art foundation course in Abingdon and Whitney College in the autumn.
James Glen, 18, was pleased with his 2 A* and 2 As and is looking forward to starting at LSE in the autumn to study Economics. He said: "It's just great. "My twin is going to Warwick. We have never spent time apart, so it might be difficult.
"I am really thankful to my mum, Jane, for all the help she has given me."
10.23am - Results are in at St Bartholomew's School - we are hearing that more than a quarter of students achieved A* or A grades - just awaiting the exact totals.
We can confirm that more than 80 per cent achieved Grade C or higher.
10.19am - A quick look at the national picture now the UK results are in .
More than one in four A-level entries scored at least an A grade this year as the proportion of exams awarded the highest results rose for the first time in six years.
National figures show that 26.3% of A-level entries scored an A* or A this summer, up 0.5 percentage points on 2016.
It is the first time the A*-A pass rate has risen since 2011.
10.03am - Here's a very happy Sam Palmer collecting his results at Park House - he's got the grades he needs to study Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience at Royal Holloway. Well done Sam!
9.57am - It's all smiles at The Willink School in Burghfield as students collect their A-level results
9.46am - The results are in at Park House School - where 60 per cent of students achieved A* to C grades
Headteacher Derek Peaple said: "We are all exceptionally proud of of this outstanding group of young people, who thoroughly deserve their success."
The results are also in at Trinity School, where 83 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades - with 54 per cent of them achieving grades at A*-B.
Well done to all.
9.27am - The results are in at The Downs School in Compton, where 31 per cent of students achieved A*-A grades, 60 per cent received A*- B grades and 81 per cent achieved A*-C grades.
Headteacher Chris Prosser said: "I am so proud of our students and their amazing achievements this year.
"These are outstanding results and there are so many wonderful success stores that lie beneath these statistics.
"What impresses me the most is that we are enabling our students to make real and sustained progress from the moment they enter our Sixth Form.
"My biggest pleasure is knowing that so many of these students will now be able to access their chosen destinations, whether that will be university, apprenticeships or a career. I wish them all the best on their next adventure."
9.21am - Congratulations to St Gabriel's Head Girl Anisha Malli, who will read medicine at Imperial College, London, after getting two A* and two As in her A-levels.
9.12am - St Gabriel's School Principal Ricki Smith said he was "delighted" with the results and paid tribute to the "hard work and dedication" of the pupils.
9.07am - The first results are coming in. There are hugs and smiling faces all around at St Gabriel's School in Newbury - and with good reason.
A total of 65 per cent of students achieved A* to B grades. Well done girls!