A FEW tears, but mostly smiles as Bryn Hafren pupils bid farewell to their retiring head teacher with his final set of A and AS-level results.

78 girls and boys – registered at the site – found out how they had fared in what head teacher Phil Whitcombe described as a successful year due to mainly “hard work” by the teenagers and also the school staff who have supported them throughout.

Mr Whitcombe said: “These are the best set of A-level results. I’m particularly pleased with the significant increase in children gaining higher grades.”

He said the Welsh Baccalaureate had proved very successful, in addition to the A-levels, and weaker academic children had done very well.

He said: “The kids have worked very hard. It’s down to their hard work and the support from the staff. We are pleased that the majority of children who wanted to go to university have got their first choice; a small number have got their second choice and only two have to go through clearing. Those wanting to do modern apprenticeships have got their grades for that.”

He added: “We expected the kids to do ok because their attitude and their commitment has been very good. You are going to get the grades if you put the effort in.”

Catrin Cosier, 18, who gained an A and a C in Drama, an A and a C in Performing Arts, a C in Health and Social and a Welsh Baccalaureate A* and will study performance and media at the University of South Wales, said: “I’m over the moon. I couldn’t believe it. I felt nervous when I came in and I was ill. It just doesn’t feel real.”

Aimee Delaney, 17, achieved an A in Spanish and a B in French, and will study Spanish and French at Cardiff University.

She said: “I’m really pleased. I was not expecting that. I owe it to the languages department.”

Sarah Jayne Griffiths, 18, scored a B in French and Spanish, a C in English and a Welsh Baccalaureate A and will study French and Spanish at the University of Bristol for four years.

She said: “I’m overwhelmed. I’m really happy I’ve got my first choice to study the subject I wanted to do. A lot of hard work has paid off.”

Bryn Hafren’s GCSE pupils will collect their results next week.