THERE were plenty of smiles as local students picked up their A-level results today.

Students from Gordon’s School were celebrating record-breaking results. Pupils at the West End school excelled with a 100 per cent pass rate, achieving a school record in which 95 per cent of entries were graded A* – C.

Andrew Moss, Head Teacher of Gordon’s, said: “We are delighted with this set of results, particularly our record results at A*-C, which is testament to the hard work and determination of our students together with that of our staff and their dedication in helping students achieve their very best.”

Students and teachers at Woking College were delighted with an excellent set of results. Similar to the last few years, students achieved an advanced level pass rate of 99%, with 60% achieving high grades – a 7% improvement on the previous year.

All smiles: Woking College principal Brett Freeman with some very happy students

Woking College principal Brett Freeman emphasised the importance of the  progress students make at Woking College: “What it so pleasing are the results of the students who arrived with relatively low GCSE scores, but then demonstrated amazing advances during their time with us and now qualify for top universities and apprenticeships.”

St John the Baptist saw 78% of exams achieved at A*, A or B grade, with 94% A* to C at the Woking school.

Samantha Hearne, head of Year 13, said she was overjoyed with the results and that the students had been a real joy to work with: “We’re incredibly fortunate here at SJB that we work with such amazing students and these results highlight this. These results are also a testament to the outstanding, dedicated staff that we have at SJB. I am incredibly proud.”

Hard work by students at Fullbrook School paid off, as the school in Selsdon Road, New Haw achieved a 100% pass rate at A level, with 41% of all grades at A*-B and 77% at A*-C.

Mrs Moore, the school’s principal, said: “I am delighted to be able to celebrate such a good set of results with Fullbrook 6th form students who have worked so hard to achieve their goals. We are delighted to see how many students have done better than they ever thought they could.

“As a school that specialises in Science Maths and Technology, we are proud that everyone who studied in these subject areas passed with excellent grades – 43% of students achieved A*-A in Maths or Further Maths.”

For more details and a spread of pictures, see the 23 August edition of the News & Mail

THIEVES used a JCB to smash through a wall of the Co-op store in Wych Hill, Woking, and made off with an ATM machine.

The Co-op following the raid, with the JCB used by the thieves

The ram raid happened at about 1.30am on Tuesday 14 August. An unknown number of thieves are believed to have made their getaway at speed from the scene.

A Surrey Police spokesman said officers were called at about 2am and appealed for anyone who saw or heard the incident to contact them, or for anyone who may have seen a Land Rover Discovery with the registration A7775 BUX to get in touch. Police are particularly keen to speak to anyone who might have dashcam footage.

The JCB was reported stolen from a building yard in Woking on Monday 13 August at around 6pm.

A Co-op spokesman said the store would stay closed while the damage was assessed.

For more details, pick up the News & Mail 16 August edition 

PLANS for a power station in West Byfleet that attracted more than 1,100 objections have been withdrawn – but opponents believe the developers are intending to resubmit the scheme with amendments.

Generating units similar to those proposed for a power station at West Byfleet

UK Power Reserve Ltd had insisted that the 33 gas-fired generators on a former waste tip alongside the Camphill Industrial Estate would create minimal air, traffic and noise pollution, but have now withdrawn the plans that were to be considered by Woking Borough Council.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the reasons for the sudden move.

Susan Hanrahan, a member of the Power Station Action Group, said the action was a “small victory in a big battle”.

Read the full story in the News & Mail’s 16 August edition

AN ALMS Giving Ceremony was held in Jubilee Square on Saturday, collecting donations of food for the needy and homeless.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Woking, Cllr Will Forster and Hannah Thompson, with monks at the ceremony in Jubilee Square

Arranged by Wat Phra Dhammakaya London, the Thai Buddhist organisation based in the Woking temple, the event helped support the York Road Project and The Salvation Army.

See the 16 August edition of the News & Mail for a picture spread of the event

STORIES written by an eight-year-old Woking girl are raising money for a young people’s hospice charity.

Mahika Soin and mum Rashi with a copy of Mahika’s Short Stories

Ten of Mahika Soin’s tales for children have been published in an e-book being sold in aid of Shooting Star Chase.

Mahika – who aspires to be as good a writer as JK Rowling – was delighted when she heard that her work was being published.

“It was important to us to support a local charity and those who were really in need and Shooting Star Chase seemed perfect to both of us,” said her mother Rashi. “Children can relate to children better, Mahika understands how lucky she is and wants to help.”

Georgina Brookes, community fundraiser for Addlestone-based Shooting Star Chase said: “It really is so kind and inspiring that Mahika has not only written such a wonderful collection of stories but that she’s also donating any proceeds to our charity. We’d like to thank her and her family so much.”

Read the full story in the 9 August News & Mail

YOUNG dancers from Street Vibes in Woking won three medals, including two silvers, when they represented England at the Dance World Cup in Spain.

The girls’ commercial team in action at the Dance World Cup

The 36 dance students’ meal haul included one bronze and they came sixth in two sections of the competition involving 20,000 dancers from 54 countries, including the US, Russia, China.

Street Vibes, run by Carla Crawley, specialises in hip hop and commercial dance, set off with a team of boys and girls aged 10 to 18. They raised £20,000 to cover their costs, which included accompanying parents, especially for the younger students. The money came from donations by local businesses, as well as cake and sweet sales.

See the 9 August edition for full details

THE transformation of Woking FC’s Kingfield Stadium to English Football League standards and the linked building of more than 1,000 new homes has moved a step closer.

Last week, Woking Borough Council approved a viability assessment by the developer, GolDev Limited, for a 10,000-seat stadium and nearly 1,000 flats on the site.

The David Lloyd Leisure Centre would be moved to land at Egley Road where 55 houses and six flats would be built.

The Laithwaite Community Stadium has a capacity of 6,000, including 2,500 seats. The new facility would allow the club to aim for promotion at least up to League One.

According to the assessment, the stadium would cost around £10 million, financed by the building of 992 studio and one and two-bedroom flats and 10,000 sq ft of retail space.

The council would buy the Egley Road site and expects the cost to be returned by the transfer of the new properties.

For the full story, see the 2 August edition

VOTING for the best Woking food and drink businesses in the Best Bar None Awards opens on Monday 6 August.

Bars, pubs and restaurants across the borough are signing up to the accreditation scheme, which is aimed at preventing and reducing alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour as well as encouraging increased trade for the best businesses.

From Monday, Woking residents and visitors to the town will be able to vote for the Woking News & Mail Peoples’ Choice winner at www.wokingbbn.co.uk. Voting will be open for about four weeks.

See the 2 August edition for details

COUNCILLORS have gone against a recommendation that the latest redevelopment plan for the former Ministry of Defence complex at West Byfleet should be rejected.

Woking Borough Council’s planning committee voted last week that the revised scheme for Broadoaks Park, off Parvis Road, should be approved.

However, the committee decided that the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary should make the final decision on the two linked applications, as much of the land involved is designated as Green Belt.

If the plans are approved, Octagon Developments Ltd will have permission to create a total of 254 homes, an 80-bed care home and a small office building.

An artist’s impression of the converted Broadoaks manor and the new housing

Pick up the 2 August edition for all the details

AN ORDEAL by sun and heat was probably the expectation of the many thousands of cyclists who took part in Sunday’s Prudential RideLondon events in Surrey. Instead, they got a super soaking.

Top professionals and enthusiastic amateurs passed through Byfleet, West Byfleet, Pyrford and Ripley during the day, enduring torrential downpours after weeks of hot weather.

But local people still braved the rain to support and cheer on the riders as they followed a 100-mile route from Central London into the Surrey countryside and back to the capital.

Woking and Same Beare Hospice supporters cheering on riders outside the West Byfleet hospice shop

More details and picture spread in the 2 August edition