STUDENTS prospered through adversity this year as GCSE results were revealed across the Vale and the Cotswolds.
There were smiles and a few tears as the results were torn open on Thursday but for the most it was a cause for celebration.
Across the county first indications showed a slight drop in this year's GCSE results. Based on the submission of 27 out of the 29 schools in Worcestershire, the percentage of students achieving five or more A*to C grades including English and Mathematics was provisionally 58.9 percent, showing a drop from 2013's figures of 62.9 percent.
For some students their great results were made even more special thanks to some challenges they conquered over the past year.
At Prince Henry's Adam Wooley, 16, of Cheltenham Road, Evesham, celebrated seven A8 grades, two As and one B.
These grades come just months after Mr Wooley suffered a brain haemorrhage.
"I had the brain haemorrhage on the first day back in September," he said. "I missed a lot of school at the start of the year.
"When I did come back it was part time. I thought it may impact on the grades. I had to work hard to catch up. I sort of just got on with it because you have to.
"I was quite happy when I opened the results today. I will be staying here to go to sixth form."
Overall at the school 68 percent achieved 5 A*to C passes including Maths and English.
Good news came from the school as Molly Hardwick, 16, of Alderton, got ten A*, Joe Sandham, 16, of Charlton achieved 12 A* and one A, Daniel Evans, 16, of Cropthorne and Jemima Hutchison, 16, of Bredon, both achieved 11 A* and one A.
Miss Hardwick said: "I am just ecstatic. I certainly couldn't have wished for anything better."
Dr Tony Evans, Headteacher, congratulated the students and the teachers and parents.
He added: "I am very proud that our students have worked extremely hard to achieve these results, and they deserve full praise for their efforts."
In Pershore Sam Godber, 16, of St Matthew's Close in Evesham, who has autism, also demonstrated what you can achieve with determination and support.
He received four A* grades and three As.
"There are no words to describe how I feel, it's really unexpected," he said. "It's such an honour just to get an A."
Mr Godber attended Pershore High School's autistic base, and he plans to continue at the school.
Sixty three percent secured a five A* to C rate at the school, an improvement of 3% on last year's performance, and headteacher Clive Corbett said he was pleased.
"Given the increasing rigour of GCSE examinations, another year of improvement is very pleasing."
Other successes included Rhiannon Hornett, 16, Bishampton, Heather Boocock,16, Bishampton, Megan Wardle, 16, Kington, and Samuel Bradnick, 16, Earls Common.
Miss Boocock got six A*, five A grades and three Bs. She said: "I was really happy and there was relief as well."
While the news was good for many at Evesham High School there was cause for concern as 37 percent got five A to C grades, around 20 percent less than the school had predicted.
Headteacher Caroline Browne said: "There are a lot of exception individual performances, however we are very disappointed with this year's overall results, which needs investigating, particularly because of the bizarre English exam results where a large number of students received marks for one paper that were two or more grades below what was expected.
"You government predicted some volatile results because of all the changes to the exam system for this year, it's a pity they didn't consider the impact upon some students and schools."
But it wasn't all bad news, Louise Knight, 16, of Badsey, got two A*, a distinction * BTEC, one A, three Bs and two Cs. She said: "I couldn't be happier, I was so surprise I was preparing for the worst. I have a little bit worried."
Headmaster of Bowbrook House School in Peopleton, near Pershore, Chris Allen says he is extremely pleased with this year’s results.
"In the first year of the linear exams I am delighted that the students’ efforts have been rewarded. They and the staff, have achieved 100 percent pass rate at GCSE again this year with nearly 76.7 percent of those grades being A* to C."
The Cotswold School were celebrating and principal William Morgan said: "I am enormously proud of our students. They have achieved wonderful results in a year which has seen sweeping changes to exams and assessment."
Seventy percent achieved five or more A* to C grades including English and Mathematics.
At Shipston High School students celebrated a bumper crop of results with more than 70 percent achieving five or more passes at grades A* to C - a five percent improvement on the equivalent result last year.
Two students whose results stood out were Grace Spalding who achieved five grades at A*, four at A and one at B and Sean Feary who achieved four grades at A*, four at A and one at B.
A statement from the school said: "We are really delighted with the results of all our students which is a huge tribute to their exceptional commitment and hard work, not forgetting, of course, all the excellent staff who taught and supported them.
"The only slight shame is that, like every school in the country, these results would have been even better if it had not been for the way the government interfered with the examinations and moved the goal posts midway through the year meaning some students ended up being able to achieve fewer grades than when they started their GCSE courses."
The number of students with top grades at Chipping Campden School has risen again this year at this already high performing school with around 20 percent of the cohort getting between 5 and 12 GCSE A* to A grades.
In congratulating students and staff on such fantastic results, John Sanderson, the school’s principal, said: "I’m particularly proud of what everyone has achieved this year.
"So many students have responded to the challenge and support on offer both in school and at home. They deserve all the enjoyment of celebrating their achievements."