LOCAL Principals and teachers have expressed delight at the success of their pupils in this year's GCSE examinations.

Wallace High School Principal Mrs. Anne McBride said 2008 had produced another 'very pleasing' set of results with 56% of her pupils achieving grades A* or A.

"We congratulate all our pupils on their success and commend many of them for achieving a personal best in these examinations," she added.

There was also good news for students at Laurelhill Community College where Principal Dr. Maurice Malcolmson said all Year 12 GCSE students should be proud of their results.

However, he felt special mention should be made of Caroline Ferris who achieved 'an outstanding six A* and one A grades'; Leah Grimshaw who achieved 'an amazing four A* and four A grades'; Thomas McCartney who achieved four A grades and Conor ONeil who achieved 'a fantastic' 5 A grades and 1 A*.

He said these pupils had worked tirelessly throughout years 11 and 12 and thoroughly deserved their results.

Laurelhill's first students to sit the GCSE Journalism examination achieved a 94% A* to C pass rate with A*'s going to Leah Grimshaw, Caroline Ferris and Gemma Watson.

Journalism teacher Lesley Dyson said Conor O'Neil, Carrie Abernethy, Marc Fell, Nathan Friars and Jessica Givan "scooped outstanding A grades.

"Every one of my pupils has worked tirelessly to achieve these exceptional results. I am extremely proud of each and every member of my class," she continued.

Eleanor Ross, Director of Teaching and Learning at South Eastern Regional College, said the results of students at the Lisburn Campus have shown the college "has raised the bar on education".

100% of photography and art and design students succeeded in passing the part-time GCSE Photography course with excellent grades - four achieved A*, four grade A and 1 grade B. In addition the full-time BTEC National in Art and Design achieved 100% pass rate.

Students who have completed the Secretarial and Administration course have achieved excellent pass rates with 89%. One student Janice Galbraith, took a mix of LCCI and OCR diplomas achieving most at Distinction level.

Twelve students who have successfully completed the BTEC National Diploma in Sport at the Lisburn Campus. One student, Louise McCracken, achieved 3 Distinction grades which equates to 3 'A' grades at A-Level, she is taking up a place at the University of Ulster to study Sports Science.

The Higher National Certificate (HNC) and the BTEC National Diploma in Construction were particularly successful this year with some excellent results and 100% pass rate over both courses.

St. Patrick's High School Principal Dr. Seamus Quinn said he was "delighted" with his students' success after GCSE pupils achieved the best results in the history of the school.

Dr Quinn commented: "Our GCSE results were outstanding, the best results in the history of the school. 55% of pupils achieved nine GCSE's grade A*-C. This again reflects the continued sustained achievement of the pupils and underlies the school's belief in success without labels.

"As a non-selective school we educate everybody who comes to us. We are delighted with the results and look forward to continued improvement."

Meanwhile there was success for the A Level students at St. Patrick's recently. "We had a 100% pass rate at A Level for the third year in a row and we have pupils going on to pursue careers in Law and Forensic Science. For a non-selective school to have a 100% pass rate is unprecedented," Dr. Quinn stated.

Headmistress of Crumlin Integrated College, Dr Annabel Scott said she was delighted with this year's GCSE results and praised the pupils of their outstanding results which were above the Northern Ireland average.

100 per cent of pupils gained A* - G grades, 91 per cent achieved grades A* - C grades, 88 per cent gained five or more A* - G grades, 56 per cent receives fiver or more A* - C grades.

Dr Scott said: "These results are due not only to the dedication and hard work of pupils and staff but to an effective staff development programme within the school which has had a sigificant impact on the raising of pupil performance. At Crumlin Integrated Collegeour young people have developed the confidence and skills to follow their chosen career. We wish all of them all of them every success in the future."

Elizabeth Dickson, Principal of Friends' School, said that there was "delight amongst pupils, parents and staff" at this year's GCSE results.

Standards had continued to rise with over two thirds of all grades awarded being at A or A*.

Mrs Dickson said eight pupils: Steven Allen, Laura Burns, Susanna Elliott, Timothy Ferguson, Sophie McDermott, John McRitchie, Emma Megoran and Zoe Russell had each achieved an outstanding ten A* passes and all in the year group could rightly be proud of how their hard work had been rewarded.

The principal of Lisnarvey High School, Mr Jim Sheerin, said GCSE results at the school "are superb for the third year running with 50% of our students achieving 5 or more A*-C grades.

"We would like to congratulate all our pupils for their efforts and thank staff and parents for all their support" he said.

Principal of Fort Hill College Marian Getty said she was delighted with this year's results. She commented: "This year we had over 150 pupils sit public exams in year 12.

"Our top student is delighted with 6A*s and 3As and many of his class mates are celebrating similar grades. Over half the subject areas have at least 50% of students celebrating grades A*-C and we have a record number of students returning to school for post 16 studies."

There were also celebrations at Dunmurry High. "This was an exceptional year for us," said Principal Tina Corken. "We had our highest percentage yet of students achieving success at GCSE level.

"It is particularly pleasing in our 40th anniversary year," she added.