PUPILS from across North Belfast were celebrating exam success on Thursday after receiving their GCSE results.

Mercy College have particular cause for celebration after posting their best ever set of GCSE results, with over 80 per cent of girls achieving five GCSE grades A*-C, figures which have doubled upon last year.

Orla Elwood was celebrating seven GCSEs and is looking forward to studying Sociology, Business Studies and Health and Social Care at A-Level. Bethany Milliden was also all smiles: “I passed all eight of my GCSE’s. I’m really pleased and can’t wait to celebrate on Sunday at Croke Park, dancing in front of 60,000 people at the All-Ireland semi-final with my dance group, Hounds of Ulster.”

Principal Martin Moreland said: “It’s great to see so many happy faces from pupils, parents and staff. It’s a day of celebration for us all.

“I would commend the community spirit in the school and we can’t wait to welcome so many back for A-Levels.”

It’s all change for pupils of Little Flower Girls and St Patrick’s in September as they welcome the grand opening of Trinity College.

However, it was business as usual this morning as students received their GCSE results.

Eimear Mulgrew achieved 3 Bs, 2 Cs and a merit and is looking forward to studying A-Levels at Trinity College,

“I’m really happy with my results and am looking forward to going out for lunch with my mum,” she said.

“I hope to study Double Health and Social Care and Psychology next year.”

Emily McGorty was also a top performer, achieving 2 A*s, 2 As, a B and a C and will study Health and Social Care, Science and Business Studies for A-Level.

Proud Principal Jim McKeever said: “Trinity College will begin its existence with a stunning set of GCSE results from both the boys and the girls.

“The school is in a position to offer A-Level provision for all of our students. It’s a massive thanks to all of our teaching staff and we look forward to an exciting start at Trinity.”

Up at Edmund Rice College in Glengormley, boys were also in an upbeat mood after receiving their results, with attention already turning to next year’s plans post-GCSE.

Eamonn Clarke, who achieved 8 GCSE grades was looking forward to coming back for sixth form studies.

“I’m really happy with my results,” he said. “I hope to study Business and Sport for A-Levels ahead of a career in youth work.

“I’m looking forward to going out for a meal with my family later and watch the Everton match tonight of course.”

Patrick McCaffrey was also looking ahead to further education and hopes to do a sports-focused course at Our Lady of Mercy.

Delighted College Principal Peter Friel commended the boys for their efforts in achieving such fantastic results.

“I’m extremely pleased. We have built on last year’s excellent results and maintained a good standard. Over 90% of our boys have achieved grades A* to C,” he said. “It’s an outstanding result for us all. Staff and pupils build excellent relationships over the five years and these results are a reflection of all the hard work that was put in.”

Overall, results across the north improved once again, in comparison to students in England, Scotland and Wales. One in ten entries were awarded an A* with the number of A*-C grades awarded increasing by 0.4% to 79.5%.