EXPECTATIONS were exceeded in many South Devon schools with pupils smashing previous exam result records.
GCSE results were released yesterday, hot on the heels of last week's A level results.
Students filled school halls, canteens and hallways anxiously clutching their exam results.
Students at Teignmouth Community College achieved the best GCSE results in the college's history, with 62 per cent of students gaining five GCSE passes at grade C.
High results were achieved in English language and literature, math and computing.
Individual students who excelled include Maria Bovington, Martha Allardyce, Jade Foyle, Miriam Kaye, Natalie McColl, Daniel Rennison, Samson Crocker, Alexandra Wellesley and Rebecca Williams, who gained A* and A grades for all their subjects.
Principal Tony Gray said: "These outstanding results are a reflection of the dedicated commitment of teachers, parents and students."
At Newton Abbot's Coombeshead College, principal John Patton said the students' GCSE results had 'exceeded all expectations'.
"The results reflect the sheer hard work students have put in, particularly over the last year," he said.
Overall, 51.1 per cent of students achieved five or more Grade Cs or above.
Rachael Thorn scored a record at the college by becoming the first student to achieve 12.5 A to C grades with 11.5 A*s.
Rachel said: "I'm delighted. I'm heading off to Paris to celebrate with eight of my friends."
Other top achievers included self-taught linguist Sophie More who gained a Grade B in Greek, adding to her nine A*s and a B.
Sophie, who is staying on at Coombeshead sixth form, said: "I want to be a vet and live in Greece, that's why I decided to teach myself Greek."
Knowles Hill School celebrated the school's best ever GCSE results which have improved by over 30 per cent this year with 57.4 per cent of students achieving five or more A* to C grades.
Among the top performers are Christine Slater, who achieved eight A* and three A grades; Charlotte Ashford, who achieved four A* and five A grades; and twins Ella and Kate Anderson, who between them achieved 23 top grades, including four A* and eight A grades.
Charlotte said: "I was a little nervous when I came to collect my results. I did better than I had hoped so I am very pleased."
Head teacher Gareth Davies said: "Everyone in the school has been focused upon improving the quality of achievement and it is great to see this effort pay off."
Mr Davies said the results showed significant improvement at the school, which changes its name on September 1 to become Newton Abbot College.
Girls once again out-performed boys at Ashburton's South Dartmoor College with 55 per cent achieving high passes in all subjects, including English and maths.
Almost one in four grades was an A or A* compared to one in five nationally.
Principal Ray Tarleton said: "These are our best ever results and reflect a committed group of students and excellent teaching.
"The pass rates showed a remarkable 73 per cent of the year group achieving five or more high grade GCSE passes."
Pupils did particularly well in a variety of subjects including graphics, photography, drama, math statistics, media studies, chemistry and music and dance.
At Teign School in Kingsteignton, some pupils shook with anxiety as they read their results.
Amy Gale, who has an apprenticeship at Gershwins Hairdressers, achieved one A, five Bs, one C and three Ds.
She said: "I'm very pleased. It's really good for me because I thought I had done awfully."
Amy's friend Megan Crane was delighted with her five As, three Bs and three Cs.
"I was really nervous about getting my results. I'm staying on for sixth form so I'm really pleased," she said.
Teign School achieved a 72 per cent pass rate for five A* to C grades beating their own school record and exceeding Government targets.
Head teacher Vyv Game said: "We are absolutely delighted by the achievements of these pupils.
"They are the best results the school has ever had. We have an inclusive policy with no fixed term or permanent exclusions."
Across Torbay and the South Hams youngsters were also celebrating.
At South Devon college the pass rate for GCSE grades A* to C was an impressive 63 per cent; this is a further increase on the previous year's results. All students taking GCSEs at the college successfully achieved a 100 per cent pass rate.