They yelled with delight, wept, and took long drags on cigarettes as they clutched the envelopes containing their scores

GCSE day of joy and tears, but for others there's a more important thing called Oasis
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The Independent Online
Pupils yelled with delight, some cried while others took long drags on cigarettes yesterday as they clutched the envelopes with their GCSE results at Lawnswood School in Leeds.

Most of the results were good, about a dozen were outstanding, others were unexpectedly disappointing.

Pauline Horswill, the year head, had been prepared for anything. Her handwritten notices around the school hall told students not to leave without talking to a tutor about their results, good or bad.

"I'm rather like a mother hen, I'm afraid. But after spending five years with them you feel like you own them," she said.

"We are asking them to fill in a questionnaire about their plans for the future. Even the successful ones can panic - they go through quite a bit of anxiety.

"There are teachers here to guide and advise students. There are bound to be disappointments, but on the whole most seem quite happy with what they've got."

Freyja Turk, 16, was more than happy with her grade A in drama, and a C in maths pleased her too.

"I want to be an actress, so I'm pleased with the grade A in drama, and the C in maths is quite a surprise. I'll go on to sixth form then hopefully university and then drama college after that."

The threat of student fees once she got to university didn't trouble her too much: "I'm fortunate, I suppose. My parents are in a position to help me financially."

Daniel Hansboro, 16, sat on a bench in the school hall, reading and re- reading his results. "I've got B in maths and B in science, I can't believe it. I wasn't expecting it, I also got C in business studies, though. But B in maths will be good for computer courses. I want to get into computers eventually. In the meantime I'll stay on here and go on to the sixth form."

His friend Paul Heseldine, 16, was less certain about his future other than he wanted to leave the school.

"I'm not so happy with my results - I got C in English and E in design. I want to do something in computers, but I won't stay here to do it. I think it's time for a change," he said.

Meanwhile, the retiring head teacher, Clive Robinson, 53, looked on for the last time as the students collected their results. "We have had some very good results," he said holding a piece of paper listing at least a dozen students with up to eight passes, most of them with straight As.

"But there are those who didn't expect anything who have achieved something, and these are success stories too."

He said this year was not as good as the last two years at Lawnswood, which has 1,540 students, aged from 11-18.

"Cohorts of children vary, teaching methods haven't changed, and I imagine the marking hasn't, either.

"It's unrealistic to be great every year - there will always be ups and downs."