Robert Jenkins, headteacher at Ysgol Bro Teifi, has congratulated his school's pupils on their GCSE, A and AS Level results.

Set against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been an unprecedented year for the class of 2021.

Examinations for this summer were cancelled, and a range of assessment evidence determined the students' grades.

But school leaders have been quick to stress that this year's results are as valuable and deserved as in previous years.

"I would like to congratulate our pupils on this year's results," said Mr Jenkins. "They have continued to succeed over this period, benefitting from the excellent support and advice of school staff.

"We wish all those pupils who are moving on to university, college, apprenticeships or the world of work every success, and we look forward to welcoming the majority of Year 11 back to the Sixth Form in September."

The number of top grades given out at GCSE in Wales has increased for the second year running, according to the official results published on Thursday.

A total of 28.7% A and A* grades were awarded, which is up on the previous two years, while 73.6% achieved at least C grade or above, roughly the same as 2020.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Ceredigion County Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Support and Intervention, said: "Warmest congratulations once again this year to Ceredigion pupils on their success in their GCSE qualifications.

"Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, our pupils have worked hard and the results are proof of their diligent efforts. This year's GCSE results will carry the same value and status, and we wish them all well in the future."

Across Wales, 73.6% achieved C grades or above, compared with 73.8% in 2020 and 62.8% in 2019.

Some 98.5% achieved at least a pass of G, compared with 99.6% in 2020 and 97.2% in 2019.

Of the learners who sat the National/Foundation Skills Challenge Certificate, 19% achieved A* or A, up from 14% two years ago.

Nicola James, headteacher at Cardigan Secondary School, has said all of those students receiving their GCSE and A/AS level results this week should be proud of their success.

"These exceptional results are the culmination of hard work and considerable effort, and they have been achieved against a backdrop of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty," she said.

"I thank all the students and staff for their dedication, and I am delighted that despite the challenging circumstances this year, the vast majority of our students have accepted places at their chosen universities, or apprenticeships and employment, and I wish them every success in the future.

"I would also like to thank all parents and guardians and the governing body for their continued support and co-operation during a difficult and challenging time for everyone.”

Owain Jones, Headteacher at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron said he was extremely proud of the work and efforts of their students.

"I would like to congratulate them on their excellent results. Although the past two years have been very unusual, their hard work together with the support of teachers and school staff, parents and carers is reflected in well-deserved results.

"We wish all our A Level pupils all the best whether studying a degree at University, pursuing an apprenticeship or moving into the world of work, and we are excited to welcome a high percentage of our GCSE pupils back to the sixth form."

Jane Wyn, headteacher at Ysgol Bro Pedr, said: "We are very proud of the pupils' achievements and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the pupils every success in the future.

"As a school, we believe these results are proof of the pupils' hard work, the school's high standards of teaching and the support of parents during a very challenging academic year.”