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Recent leavers, their parents and school staff at King’s College, Taunton, are celebrating the best set of A level results in the school’s history. The students achieved an impressive 76% A* to B rate in their summer exams, with 16 of them gaining three or more A grades. Of all exams taken, 43% resulted in A* or A grades, with the top 50 students achieving a 94% A* to B rate, underlining King’s ability to compete with more academically selective schools.

A delighted Headmaster, Richard Biggs, said: “These brilliant results are credit to the hard work of our students and to the dedication of their teachers. We suspected it was going to be a good year for King’s: the sense of industry and commitment amongst the students in the months leading up to the examinations was palpable. As always we have seen lots of examples where hard work has turned things around for a student. And, as always, we are just as pleased with those boys and girls who raised their game, achieved solid Bs and are into their universities of choice, as we are of the academic high fliers who got strings of A*s. I am particularly proud of the way this cohort continued to throw themselves into school life in their final year, despite their commitments to revision and, right to the end, contributed to the wider success of this school. I congratulate them warmly on their results, I thank them for the excellent leadership they have shown and the example they have set and I wish them every success for the future. They are a formidable group and are going to make a difference. Watch out!”

The 16 students who gained three or more As were: Henry Adcock (three A*s, one A), Bailey Cameron (three A*s), Eliza Chapple (three As), Sian Dennett (two A*s, one A, one B), Harriet Fox (three As), Gatik Gola (one A*, three As), Andrew Hayden-Briffett (two A*s, two As), Edward Hayden-Briffett (two A*s, one A), Flora Keeling (three As), Amy Kerrison (one A*, three As), Emily Knill (one A*, two As), Ellie Redford (three As), William Rumball (three As), Zac Stickland (one A*, two As), Freddie Thornhill (one A*, two As) and Mikhail Vtornikov (three A*s, two As). Ten of these joined King’s College from our prep school King’s Hall.

Mikhail’s achievement is particularly impressive. He joined King’s College from St Petersburg, Russia, in Year 9, gained excellent GCSEs, and has achieved A*s in English, maths and Russian as well as As in German and economics.

The Head of Sixth Form, Oliver Ridley, commenting on the school’s Oxbridge successes, said: “Earlier this year King’s announced that six of its current or recently-left students had received offers of places at Oxbridge or Cambridge. We are delighted to confirm that all six have received the grades they need.”

He added: “One of the great pleasures of teaching at King’s is working alongside young people with an inexorable passion for their chosen subject. In these six instances it is wonderful that their passion has been recognised by Oxford or Cambridge.”

The three Oxbridge successes from this year’s cohort are Bailey Cameron (biochemistry at Oriel College, Oxford), Eliza Chapple (Chinese studies at Wadham College, Oxford) and Edward Hayden-Briffett (modern and medieval languages at Robinson College, Cambridge), who will join three of last year’s leavers Toby Vickers (mathematics at Pembroke College, Oxford), Lorcan Cudlip-Cook (English at Lincoln College, Oxford) and Rudi Smith (mathematics at Exeter College, Oxford).

Twins Edward and Andrew Hayden-Briffett achieved a clean sweep of A*s and As, but in very different subjects – Edward studying English and modern languages, and Andrew mathematics and sciences. And the school’s two captains and two vice-captains clocked up an impressive set of results: two A*s, nine As and one B between them.

Individual departments that performed particularly well include (all figures are for the A* to B rate in those subjects): Art (90%), business studies (80%), chemistry (80%), design technology (75%), drama (100%), English (88%), mathematics (86%), history (84%) and philosophy (83%).

Commenting on these departmental results Deputy Head, Academic, Jonty Lawford said: “It is particularly pleasing to see the wide range of subjects in which our students have excelled. King’s offers terrific breadth in the choice of subjects at A level, all taught by excellent teachers who clearly inspired and motivated their students. We value the creative subjects, the humanities, languages and the sciences equally, and I am therefore delighted to see such strong results across the full spectrum.”