THE only way is up at St. Ambrose College as GCSE results improved yet again with Acting Principal Dermot Rainey paying tribute to the boys’ resilience and ‘healthy competitive spirit.’

The Attainment 8 ratio, the government’s benchmark denoting the average of all grades, increased from 68.8 to just shy of 70, with the key Progress 8 score, denoting just how much the boys have achieved than was predicted at age 11 “likely to be higher yet again.”

Over 56 per cent of all grades were at 9 to 7 or the former A* to A grades, prompting Mr Rainey to add: “This has been a very strong year group, with an exceptional work ethic, who enjoy healthy competition among themselves.

"They have been helped by a committed, professional staff who want the very best for all the boys in their classes.”

Mr Rainey added that the results were particularly pleasing in the light of recent curriculum changes and the move to the 9-1 grades in most subjects this year.

He said: “The additional pressures on both students and staff with the ever more demanding content across all subjects should not be underestimated, yet all parts of the college community have adapted, and with tremendous parental support have ensured that the outcomes for the boys are very strong at St Ambrose.”

Among the high flyers is Trafford swimmer Matthew Morys-Edge, 16, who got four 9s, six 8s and an A in Further Maths. Matthew ultimately wants to read Law.

Samuel Scapens, 16, got five 9s, three 8s, one 7 and A* with Distinction in Further Maths and wants to study Engineering.

Mathematics national gold medallist Niall Devlin, 16, got seven 9s, an 8 and a 6 with an A* and an A* with distinction and is considering either Engineering or Economics.

Expert ornithologist Thomas Diffley, 16, got six 9s, three 8s one 7 and an A and wants to be a surgeon.

Conor Healy, 16, got seven 9s, two 8s and one 7 and wants to read Medicine. Rory Williams, 16, got a stunning nine 9s and two A*s among only 732 students nationwide to record a clean sweep of top grades.

Brilliant Abhishek Alex also got the full nine 9s with A8 and an A* with Distinction and wants ultimately to read Medicine.

Sale Sharks academy rugby player Conor Quah, got four 9s, five 8s a 7 and an A grade.

High flyer Eamonn Gilmore, 16 got ten 9s and an A* with distinction and is another hoping to read Medicine.

Youth Parliament politician Matthew Doyle, 16, got seven 9s. three 8s and an A* with distinction.

Martial arts expert and musician Samuel Lopes, 16, got nine 9s, one 8 and an A* while water polo player John Bolton got five 9s, four 8s and on 7 and is considering Engineering or Medicine.