STUDENTS across the county anxiously picked up their A-Level results after what has been an unusual and challenging year.

Schools and colleges opened their doors yesterday for pupils to collect their grades.

Overall headteachers have expressed their happiness for students who have achieved the grades they wanted.

Heyford Park Free School near Bicester said it was pleased with its pupils who showed ‘resilience’ by yesterday achieving a 100 per cent pass rate.

Also read: Live blog of A-level results day 2020 in Oxfordshire

Seventy-four per cent achieved A*- C, 36 per cent A*- B and 14 per cent A - A. The average grade overall was a C.

Acting headteacher Victoria Wallington said: “We are pleased with the A-level results overall, and we’re really proud of our students for the resilience they have shown in the face of such uncertainty during the school closure.

“Students have had to wait such a long time to receive their results and we’re very happy to finally share their success and see them move onto the the next phase of their lives.”

Pupil Asot Zakarian was the school’s top student this year after achieving an A* in maths, A in further maths, an A in physics and an A in physical education.

He is off to read physics with astrophysics at the University of Manchester.

The Bicester School is not releasing headline figures this year, but student Matthew Harris secured a place at Cambridge University to study natural sciences.

Executive headteacher Tony Rushworth said: “We are delighted with the results achieved by our Sixth Form students in these challenging and unprecedented times.

“They have all worked very hard throughout their time at the Bicester School and dealt well with the adjustments to remote learning during the Covid period, so much so that a number of students have secured places at top universities and vocational providers and we look forward to them achieving high levels of success.”

Carterton Community College said it was ‘delighted and proud’ of students’ achievements this year, particularly as it saw an improvement from last year.

Twenty-eight per cent of students achieved A - A* grades compared to 10 per cent last year, 66 per cent achieved A*- B up from 22 per cent the year before and 81 per cent of pupils got A*- C grades, a rise from 34 per cent in 2019.

Also read: The Oxford Academy sees improvement in A-level results

Headteacher Christopher Hart said: “Our 2020 results are testament to the dedication of teachers and students to pursuing the best outcomes possible, despite lockdown arrangements, and are represented in our headline figures showing improved outcomes against 2019 data.”

All of the college’s pupils applied to university and have been awarded their first choice having met, in some cases, tough entry requirements for degrees such as criminology and forensic psychology, biomedical science and education.

Destinations for students who achieved three or more A*/A grades include physics at Bath University, and education and psychology at York.

Although King Alfred School in Wantage did not release headline figures this year, it was ‘delighted’ that its Year 13 students had received grades 'which recognised their hard work'.

Individual achievements include four A* grades in biology, chemistry, mathematics and further mathematics for Ema Ferjentsikova, along with another A* grade for her extended project.

This means she is off to the University of Bristol to read cellular and molecular medicine and plans to apply for a clinical medical degree.

Some of the other students who performed exceptionally well include Rebecca Spiers, with grades A*AA and a place at Lancaster University, and Finn Bliss with A*AA and a place at University of Bath.

Also read: Student feels 'let down' by Government after dropping four grades

Head of Sixth Form Tim Lawrence said: "It was a great pleasure to work with this year group, and it was an emotional farewell when we closed in March.

"They were a supportive and engaging cohort who made great contributions to the life of our school and to the local community, and we are confident that they will go on to great things despite the challenges that this year has brought."

Didcot Sixth Form said 27 per cent of all students gained A* or A grades, 82 per cent achieved A*-C grades, while 98 per cent of all entries gained A*-E grades.

More than half of pupils’ grades at Kingham School near Banbury were A*s and As - a record set of results.