Girl with six A-levels says no to Oxford

Results day: Hundreds of thousands of students find agony or ecstasy inside an envelope as two years' work is graded
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A GIRL who yesterday scored six A grades at A-level is heading not for a career in academe but in the film industry.

Lisa Hall, 18, produced the sets for three major school productions during the final year of her A-level course.

Yet she was awarded A grades in Art, Art History, English Language, Economics, Business Studies and General Studies. Most candidates take only three A-levels.

Now, Lisa, a pupil at Colchester County High School for Girls, an Essex grammar school, will do an art foundation course before heading for an art and design degree course.

Unlike many other bright teenagers who collected strings of A grades yesterday, she is not aiming for Oxbridge but for Nottingham Trent, one of the newest universities, which has a course in television production and design.

She said: "I didn't work all the time - about two hours a night. But I did work throughout the two years instead of leaving it all until the last minute and I had an amazing amount of support from teachers and my friends."

She has just returned from a month-long school trip to Ecuador, where she climbed mountains, went white-water rafting and helped renovate a village hall by painting murals. All the planning and fund-raising for the Ecuador trip was done while she was studying for her exams.

Lisa is an only child and her parents, Hilary and Robert, both graduates of Bristol University, said that they were delighted.

Students in other parts of the country also scored six As. Elaine Macdonald, from Nailsea Comprehensive School, in north Somerset, will go to Cambridge to read medicine after being awarded the top grade in Physics, Chemistry, German, Maths, Further Maths and General Studies.

She challenged the idea that A-level standards were slipping. "I know how much hard work I had to put in to get these results. A-levels are so well-regulated that I don't think it is possible for standards to fall that much." In Oxfordshire, Matthew Lloyd, 18, who attends Abingdon School, an independent, has six As after adding As in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Electronics to those he gained in Maths, three years ago, and Further Maths, two years ago. Matthew, who is going to Queen's College, Cambridge to read Computer Science, produced a school play, Another Country, and carried on playing the piano and singing in a rock band while he studied. The band's name, Judd's Paradox, is taken from a line in the play. "We don't have any conscious influences but I suppose we sound quite like Radiohead, who also went to Abingdon School," he said. He finds the prospect of a job in the computer industry unexciting. "If I was good enough singer I would like to do that for the rest of my life but I don't think I am."

For some of the year he was so busy that he was averaging between four and five hours' sleep a night.

He attributed his success to the extra help he received in both Maths and English when he was young.

Kathryn Huish, 18, from Heswall, who also gained six grade As, is to follow in her parents' footsteps and study for a Maths degree at Cambridge.

Kathryn, from Birkenhead High School, on the Wirral, Merseyside, who achieved A grades in Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Information Technology and General Studies, said she would be studying at St Catharine's, her father's old college.

She was also awarded a distinction in her General Studies spoken English.

One of the youngest pupils to pass an A-level is thought to be a 12-year- old boy from Harrow, in north London. Priyesh Patel achieved a grade C in Computing at Ryde College, in London.

At Dame Allan's School, in Newcastle upon Tyne, five pupils who have all been awarded five A-levels all want to become doctors.

Top 50 Comprehensives

School Score

Tarporley County High Sch, Cheshire 27

Castle Sch, S Gloucestershire 25.5

Wymondham High Sch, Norfolk 24.9

Droitwich Spa High Sch, Droitwich 24.8

Huntington Sch, York 24.7

Coopers' Co & Coborn (GM), Havering 24.4

Alsager Sch, Stoke on Trent 23.6

Baines Sch, Lancs 23.6

Lady Manners Sch, Derbyshire 23.5

St Mary's RC High Sch, Derbyshire 23.4

Old Swinford Hospital, Stourbridge 23.3

Becket Sch, Nottinghamshire 23.1

Saffron Walden County High Sch 23.1

Wymondham College (GM) 23.1

Christleton County High Sch, Cheshire 23

St Nicholas RC High Sch, Cheshire 23

Katherine Lady Berkeley's Sch, Gloucs 22.9

Didcot Girls' Sch, Oxfordshire 22.7

Durham Johnston Comp Sch, Durham 22.7

Fallibroome High Sch, Cheshire 22.6

Harrogate Grammar Sch, N Yorkshire 22.6

St Aidans and St John Fisher, N Yorkshire 22.6

St Mary's Comp Sch, W Yorks 22.6

Benton Park Sch, Leeds 22.5

Blue Coat Sch, Oldham 22.5 Conyers Sch, Stockton on Tees 22.4

Stokesley Sch, N Yorkshire 22.4

Henbury High Sch, Cheshire 22.3

King's Sch, Peterborough 22.3

St Aiden's St St John Fisher, Harrogate 22.25

Queen Katherine Sch, Cumbria 22.2

Bishop Heber County High Sch, Ches 22.1

Churchill Community Sch, N Somerset 22

Parrs Wood High Sch, Manchester 21.9

Sacred Heart of Mary's Girls' Sch, Essex 21.9

Tadcaster Grammar Sch, N Yorkshire 21.9

Canon Slade GM Sch, Bolton 21.8

Chase High Sch, Malvern Worcs 21.8

Hinchingbrooke Sch, Cambs 21.8

John Port Sch, Derby 21.8

Watford Grammar Sch for Boys, Herts 21.8

St Benedict's Sch, Suffolk 21.7

Watford Grammar Sch for Girls,Herts 21.6 Wyedean Sch, Gloucs 21.6

Turton High Sch, Bolton 21.4

Lady Lumley's Sch, N Yorkshire 21.3

St John's Sch, Wiltshire 21.3

Fulford Sch, York 21.1

Lakes Sch, Cumbria 21

Brookfield Community Sch, Derbyshire 20.9

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School Score

King Edward VI Gramm, Chelmsford 33.7

Colchester Royal Gramm, Essex 33.3

King Edward Camp Hill Boys, Bham 31 King Edward VI Camp Hill Girls, Bham 30.9

Colyton Gramm, Devon 29.8

Pate's Gramm, Gloucs 29.8

Colchester Cty High for Girls, Essex 29.7 Lancaster Girls Gramm, Lancs 29.4

Stratford-upon Avon Girls' Gramm 28.8

Wolverhampton Girls' High 28.8

Ermystedd's Gramm, N Yorks 28.7

Newport Girl's High, Shropshire 28.7 Lancaster Royal Gramm, Lancs 28.5 King Edward VI Five Ways, Bham 28

Aylesbury Gramm, Bucks 27.8

Queen Mary's Gramm, Walsall 27.8

Tonbridge Girls' Gramm, Kent 27.5

Queen Elizabeth's, Barnet 27.4

Southend High for Girls, Essex 27.3

Altrincham Girls' Gramm, Trafford 27.3

Devonport High for Girls, Devon 27.2

Parkstone Girls' Gramm, Poole 27.1

Altrincham Boys' Gramm, Trafford 27.1

Queen Mary's High, Walsall 27

Ripon Gramm, N Yorks 26.9

Dartford Gramm, Kent 26.7

Wilson's, Sutton 26.5

King Edward VI Gramm, Warwicks 26.4

Bourne Gramm, Lincs 26.3

Westcliff High for Girls, Essex 26.1

Nonsuch High Girls, Sutton 26.1

Royal Gramm, Bucks 25.8

Torquay Gram Girls, Devon 25.8

Caistor Gramm, Lincs 25.8

Queen Elizabeth's High, Lincs 25.8

Dr Challoner's Gramm, Bucks 25.6

Carre's Gramm, Lincs 25.6

Kesteven and Grantham Girls, Lincs 25.2

Newstead Wood Girls, Bromley 25.2

Wirral Boys Gramm, The Wirral 25.2

Crossley Heath, Calderdale 25

Torquay Boys' Gramm, Devon 25

Henrietta Barnett, Barnett 24.9

King Edward VI Handsworth, Bham 24.8

Sir Thomas Rich's, Gloucester 24.8

King Edward VI Aston, Bham 24.7

Latymer, Enfield 24.7

Adams Gramm, Shropshire 24.6

S Wilts Girls Gramm, Wiltshire 24.3

Westcliff High for Boys, Essex 24.2