Brighton Girls head Rosie McColl said that her school was delighted that 27% of all grades were 8s and 9s and nearly 50% of all grades were 7,8 or 9 but what really made her proud was seeing how teens, half of whose secondary school life has been disrupted due to Covid, had developed resilience and adaptability.

She said: “The events that have unfolded during all teens’ formative years have been so much more intrusive than before. They have, in multiple ways, altered the course of their schooldays. The pandemic robbed children of their rites of passage, of falling into friendships and then learning to repair them, and of learning how to learn. This has meant mental health issues for some as a direct result.

“But students have shown incredible resilience. The disruption has been great but the last few years have also perhaps produced young people who have a greater understanding of the issues of the world – they have had to engage with the wider world  and they have learnt how to manage that. That is a precious skill and will stand them in great stead as they move forward.”

She added: “They worked really hard but also achieved so much more – this year’s cohort include  a GB gymnast, county cricketers, exceptional athletes and even a finalist in the Young Carer of the Year competition.”

Among those celebrating at the school were pupils Tamara Donelan-Cano, Elvia Harris, Isla Howorth, Megan Nichols-Judge, Louisa Sollohub and Ava Wojciechowska who all achieved a clean sweep of top grades 7-9. A quarter of the year group achieved at least five  8s and 9s.