AFTER an agonising wait, pupils from across West Berkshire and North Hampshire will be collecting their GCSE results today (Thursday).
The Newbury Weekly News team of reporters and photographers will be at schools across the area this morning to get the reaction from pupils and headteachers as those all-important envelopes are opened.
This year is the first of a new grading system for English, English literature and mathematics.
Instad of traditional A*-A grades, numbers from four to nine will be awarded, with a nine being the equivalent of an A*.
From all at the NWN, we wish the best of luck to everyone receiving their results today.
See below for updates as they come in from 8.30am - don't forget to keep refreshing this page.
And pick up a copy of the NWN next week for more detailed results, lots of pictures and some remarkable, individual success stories.
Thank you for following our GCSE blog today. All the results and reaction will be in next week's Newbury Weekly News.
The Downs School is celebrating its best results ever with more than 80 per cent of students achieving at least the new standard pass 4 – 9 (C to above A*) in English and Mathematics, with a similar percentage achieving at least 5 subjects at grade 4 and above.
A stunning 24% of students in English and Mathematics were awarded 7 – 9 (A/A* and above), 19% were 8/9 (A* and above), with 99% of all subject entries achieving grades A*-G.
An amazing 43 new grade 9s were awarded across English and Mathematics, with 6 of these students achieving a grade 9 in both English and Mathematics.
This equates to six per cent for Mathematics and 10 per cent for English compared with National figures of three per cent Mathematics and two per cent English.
Headteacher Chris Prosser said, “To have achieved these results in any ordinary year would have been a superb achievement for this hugely talented year group but in a year of volatility caused by the new examination system which has been designed to be tougher, we are absolutely thrilled by the fantastic success of our amazing students at all ability levels.
"This is a testament to the dedication and inspiration of our staff, relentless hard work of our students and the full support of parents.
"We gain a huge amount of satisfaction knowing that we have prepared our students fully to achieve their future aspirations”.
Staying in North Hampshire, we now have some of the results for Clere School.
Tara Smith, 16 got 6xA*, 3xA and a 9. She is planning to go to Peter Symonds College for her A-Levels. She plans to take, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, History and Geography.
Joining her at Peter Symonds will be Oliver Clutterbuck, 16 who got 2 x A*, 1 x A, 2 x B, a 9, a 6, and an 8. He will also be doing A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry, as well as Physics.
Dolciana Hart, 15, is also planning to do A Levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and History at Peter Symonds following her results of 7 x As, 1 x B, 1 x A* and a 9.
Headteacher Benjamin Bond said: "We are very pleased with the results, especially in English and maths. They are up on last year."
Over to North Hampshire - or more specifically to The Hurst School in Baughurst - where the results are in.
In total, 83 per cent of pupils attained a grade 4 or higher in mathematics, with 75 per cent of pupils achieving grade 4 or higher in English.
Here they are celebrating. Look at those happy faces.
At Denefield School 64 per cent of pupils achieved a grade 4 or above in English and maths, while those achieving a grade 7 or above in English and maths stood at 10 per cent.
Special mentions went to Lauren Strudley, Sarah Woodhouse, Lucy Maggs, Natalia Biegala, Joseph Daugherty, Maeve Ward, Adam May and Olivia Wells-King.
Headteacher Lucy Hillyard said: "Once again our students have achieved very good results. 64 per cent of students achieved the important benchmark of securing a grade 4 or above in both English and maths and some of the individual student performances are very impressive in terms of the number of top grades attained.
"Whilst acknowledging the enormous achievements of the most able is very important, what gives me the greatest pleasure is the consistent progress that our students make irrespective of their ability or starting point."
Pupils at John O' Gaunt School in Hungerford are celebrating after achieving another set of excellent GCSE results.
Some 62 per cent achieved grades 9-4 in English and Maths.
Among those celebrating this morning was Ben Cooke who achieved a level 9 in maths, an 8 in English and six A* grades.
Mr Henderson said: "Well done to our amazing students. We are absolutely thrilled with these results.
"It is the second year of outstanding results and continued success and I am especially delighted given the additional rigours of the GCSEs this year.
"We want to say a big thank you to students and staff, but also parents, carers, governors and the whole community of Hungerford for their support."
At Theale Green School, 69 per cent of students got a 'good pass' in English or Maths, up 13 per cent from last year. There were 10 9s in English and 10 8s. Students also achieved two 9s in mathematics and 4 8s.
Dr Sally Beeson said: "we are absolutely delighted with the results. They're better than we were anticipating.
"Sixty nine per cent achieving a good pass in English or maths which is a great result, considering the exams are tougher, and we have still maintained our strengths elsewhere."
Trinity School headteacher Charlotte Wilson said: "We are really pleased with these results. We have held from last year, which is good."
Fourteen per cent of all grades were A*/A/9/8 and 59 per cent of pupils achieved a grade 4-9 in maths, while 62 per cent achieved the same grades in English.
Particular mention went to:
Mahima Begum, Rosie Bowman, Lily Deas, Jenizze Ebias, Rekha Punshon, Nada Mohamed, Kiah-Jay Stevens, Charlotte Taylor, Alex Thomson, Megan Vass, Kirsty Vincent, Maddie Welch, and Alfred Whitehead.
Here are some very happy students from The Willink - Matthew Brake, Emily Wilkes, Aaron Guindani and Josh Jackson.
Emily achieved one 8, two 7s six A* and two As.
She said: "I can't believe I got an 8 in maths. That's the main one for me. It was so good opening the results and seeing that."
Meanwhile, Aaron achieved 9, 8, 7, six A* and one A.
He said: "I'm really happy with what I got.
"It feels great, I've been waiting two months for it."
Kennet School is celebrating once again with 574 grades awarded A* or A (or the equivalent). The percentage of pupils who gained the Ebacc qualification jumped to 37 per cent against the 24 per cent national average last year.
There was a 100 per cent pass rate in BTec qualifications with 40 per cent gaining grade B or above.
Five per cent of mathematics grades and four per cent of English grades were 9's (an A*+) against national figures of three per cent and two per cent.
Joshua Livingstone opened 13 A*-A grades or equivalent.
"They are really good results, I'm really happy with them. I definitely worked hard. I did a lot of past papers for science and I did all the past papers the night before."
He'll be staying on at Kennet with the aim of heading into a computing or engineering career.
There was a lot to celebrate at St Bartholomew's School in Newbury this morning.
Headteacher Julia Mortimer revealed that 85 per cent of all grades achieved were C and the new 4 grade or better.
Thirty-eight per cent of pupils were awarded A* and A grades (9 to 7 in the new grading system).
Ms Mortimer said: "With new qualifications and new grading in English and maths, comparisons with previous years are not possible.
"However, a number of individuals achieved truly remarkable results, with 57 students gaining at least eight A*s and A grades, or 9 to 7 grades. Emily Carr, Jacob Adams and Matthew Forsyth completed a full set of nine A* grades, combined with grade 9s in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics."
Park House School in Newbury is celebrating its best ever GCSE results.
Using the 'traditional' benchmark measure, 70 per cent of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs at A* to C (9 - 4) including Maths and English - a further five per cent improvement on 2016.
Headteacher Derek Peaple said: "The school is really buzzing at the moment. We couldn't be prouder of what these fantastic young people have achieved.
"This year's outstanding GCSE results represent the best achieved in the school's history. This is all the more significant given that this year's examinations are, by common consent, the hardest for a generation. This fantastic year group thoroughly deserve their success, which reflects their hard work and the positive relationships between students and staff working really closely together."
Results are now in at The Willink School in Burghfield Common, where 75 per cent of students gained GCSE grades 9-4 in English and Mathematics.
In total, 25 per cent of GCSE grades were 9-7 or A*- A, while 44 per cent of students gained the English Baccalaureate (an academic curriculum comprising grade 5+ in English and Mathematics, plus grade C+ in two sciences, a language and a humanity)
Results just coming in from Trinity School too, where 14 per cent of all grades were A*/A/9/8.
A total of 59 per cent of students achieved a grade 4-9 in maths and 62 per cent achieved a grade 4-9 in English.
Among the top performers at St Gabriel's were Alice McGonnell (all A*s and level 9s), Victoria McAllister, Rowan Saltmarsh and Anna Stirk (all A* and levels 9 - 7).
Well done girls!
Right, the first results are in at St Gabriel's School in Newbury - and they are chuffed.
More than 36 per cent of GCSE grades were at A*/ 9 or 8, 66 per cent of all grades are at A*/9 to A/7 and 98 per cent of all grades were at A*/9 or 8 to C/4.
Blimey, glad I had my coffee this morning.
9.05am - Good morning everyone and welcome to our live blog. Remember, as mentioned above, there is a new grading system for English, English literature and mathematics this year.
Instead of traditional A*-C grades, numbers from four to nine will be awarded, with a nine being the equivalent of an A*.