IF they had been older, they would probably have celebrated with something a little stronger.

Sixteen pupils at Redefield Upper School at Blackbird Leys, Oxford, had good reason to be joyful, but all they were allowed was a tea party.

They had all gained a pass in GCSE English language seven months ahead of most schoolchildren - and the results included one ‘A’ and five ‘B’ gradings.

A total of 21 pupils in Redefield’s fifth form sat the examination in 1977.

Eileen Gould, the school’s deputy headteacher, said she was delighted with the 15-year-old pupils’ success.

She told the Oxford Mail: “We always monitor able pupils very carefully and without forcing or cramming them, we allow them to take the exam if we think they are ready.”

She said the school had organised the tea party for the successful pupils in recognition of their achievement.

Redefield closed in the early 1980s as numbers dropped but many pupils still have fond memories of the school.

In 2014, nearly 150 of them, plus seven of their teachers, attended a reunion at Oxford Golf Course to recall their school days.

It was organised by Rosemary Stowell, who attended classes in the 1970s.

She said at the time: “I’m a bit rare and really liked school.

“I wasn’t a fantastic learner, but I made so many friends I still keep in contact with.”

The reunion resulted in a bonus for Sobell House hospice, at the Churchill Hospital in Headington– a collection raised £345 for the care centre.