PUPILS celebrated years of hard work when they opened their GCSE results, with some schools reporting their best ever year.

They included Banbury School’s Catlin Ryman, who landed six As and four Bs.

The Easington resident will now take A-Levels in biology, chemistry, geography and English literature at the school.

She said: “I have loved it. It is so friendly, the atmosphere is great and the teachers are really helpful.”

The proportion of pupils getting five or more GCSEs, including English and maths, was 51 per cent, up from 40 and 44 in 2010 and 2011.

The school will become an academy – which are free from council control – in September, and will be renamed Banbury Academy.

Executive principal Dr Fiona Hammans said: “It’s an excellent end to the last 45 years of education as Banbury School.

“We start this next phase as Banbury Academy with the challenge for our current students to do even better.”

Emilee Bignall got four Bs, two Cs and four Ds and will retake her E in maths and D in English as part of plans to train as a midwife.

She said: “They were what I was expecting. I really enjoyed myself at the school.”

Tom Bolton-King is looking for a career in conservation after getting five A*s and six Bs. The pupil from Cherwell Heights said: “It is a very friendly atmosphere, they are very supportive, they will try everything they can to get you through.” Easington’s Jessica Austin, who got five Bs, an A and four Cs, said: “I feel good because I passed, so I am really happy about that.”

Kiera Sumner is to take a hairdressing qualification at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College to follow her mum into the profession.

The 16-year-old, who got seven Cs and three Ds, said: “I have been around hairdressing most of my life, it is something I have always wanted to do.”

The proportion of North Oxfordshire Academy pupils hitting the key GCSE score was up 10 percentage points to 59 per cent this year. And this was up from 84 to 93 per cent for those getting five or more A*-Cs in any GCSE subject.

Principal Sara Billins said: “We are thrilled with these results which are a significant improvement on last year’s.

“This demonstrates the rigour and ambition that we have as a school.”

At Bloxham’s Warriner School, the A*-C including English and maths pass rate fell slightly, from 67 to 66 per cent.

But those getting five or more GCSEs in any subject rose from 72 to 74 per cent.

The results for Blessed George Napier Catholic School and Sports College were not available.