DESPITE anger and disappointment over the Government’s handling of A-level results, today was a happy occasion for some students.

With their results in the hands of the Government rather than their own, many were relieved to see how well they had done.

At Varndean College in Brighton, Lara Bradley and Poppy Wallace both got the grades they wanted and planned to celebrate with a day down at the beach.

Lara, 18, achieved two As and a B and will study American studies at the University of Manchester while Poppy, also 18, will read English language at Soas in London.

>>GALLERY: Sussex students' reactions to A-Level results day

But both happy students admitted the mood was somewhat different than expected.

The Argus:

Varndean College students Lara Bradley, left, and Poppy Wallace were pleased with their results

“It feels like an anti-climax,” said Lara.

“You’re always going to have ‘class of 2020’ on your CV and it won’t feel the same. It doesn’t feel real.”

“There’s a sense that none of this really matters, though we’ve been waiting for this since March,” said Poppy.

“It feels like we’ve all been waiting for this but it’s not based on your work.”

The nerves dissipated quickly for fellow Varndean student Ella Mousley, 18, as she found she had achieved A* and A Distinction*.

She will spend a gap year running her new jewellery business before she decides whether to study English at university.

“I was quite nervous this morning because I didn’t know how I was going to do,” she said.

“I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t get an A* in English language because that’s what I’d been predicted.

The Argus:

Varndean College student Ella Mousley will take a gap year

“It’s been such a weird year. I’ll probably celebrate by getting a cheap deal on something to eat.”

It was an especially emotional day for Brighton College student James Law, who spent most of his studies battling leukaemia.

Having now beaten the cancer, the inspiring 18-year-old achieved four A*s, paving the way to studying economics at Warwick University.

“My house was brilliant, they didn’t treat me any differently. I was supported, and it was wonderful to have a normal school life,” James said.

“I’ve loved my time at Brighton College.”

Asked what advice he would give to other students in similar situations, he said: “Focus on what you’re passionate about. Focus on what you can do and become great at it.”

Brighton College headmaster Richard Cairns said no one was more deserving of success than James.

“James has been a model of quiet fortitude and an inspiration to every other pupil in the college,” he said.

“I am thrilled for him that he has secured a clean sweep of A* grades and a place to read economics at Warwick.”

Meanwhile high-achieving twins at the college are now jetting off to Australia to study at Queensland University.

Brothers Henry and Finley Davis achieved six A*s and As between them and now face a period of quarantine in Australia before they begin their studies.

The Argus:

Twins Finley and Henry Davis are jetting off to Australia. Photo: Brighton Pictures

Henry will pursue advanced finance and economics while Finley will study exercise and nutrition science in his path to becoming a doctor.

Finley said he had a change of heart in his university plans after witnessing the global effort to tackle coronavirus, inspiring him to take and ace his clinical aptitude test.We’re excited about our results,” he said.

“Fortunately we’re Australian so we are allowed to enter the country, but face a hotel quarantine when we land.”

At Lewes Old Grammar School, Julia Hinton said “thank goodness it’s all over” after several nerve-racking months waiting for her results.

Three A*s in French, Spanish, and history means the 18-year-old will read modern languages at Cambridge.

“The Government has had months and months to work this all out and I couldn’t believe they altered how they were doing things at the last minute yesterday,” she said.

“Like all schools, the A-level results at my school vary from year to year and I did not want to be judged on my abilities by how previous students have done.

“I have been so worried that with the standardisation procedure that my grades were going to go down.

“Thank goodness it’s all over..”

Other high achievers in Sussex include Kiana Haji Sabagh at Brighton Girls’ School, who has earned a medicine scholarship at Leicester after achieving A*A*A.