STAR student Thomas Waite is not just top of his class — he is among the 50 brightest teenagers in the country.

The Turton School sixth former has been recognised with the USB Award for Outstanding Students at a ceremony in London.

The accolade recognises bright young things who have been educated in the state-sector.

Thomas was nominated for the award by Pete Tiltman, Director of Sixth Form.

The 17-year-old said: “I was really excited to receive this award — it’s great to be recognised for the things you do. The secret of my success is hard work, fantastic teachers and an amazing school, Turton School.”

The year 13 student achieved straight A* grades in his GCSEs in 2012 as well as grade As in his AS examinations in physics, chemistry, maths and further maths.

And Thomas is on track to leave Turton School sixth form with straight As in his A-levels next summer.

As well as keeping on top of his school work, Thomas has entered essays in university competitions and led a team to the national finals of the UK Space Design Competition last year.

He also studies for an Extended Project on the Higgs-Boson. He has also volunteered at Bolton Hospice, completed his Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and is a member of the school’s student council at school.

Thomas, who was chosen from more than 400 nominations, has applied to Trinity College, Cambridge, to student physics.

Mr Tiltman said: “I am absolutely delighted that Thomas has won the award.

“He has not only achieved outstanding grades in all his exams, both at GCSE and at A-level, but he has gone above and beyond in all his subjects.

“Thomas is not just content with an excellent academic record, as he also gives his time to volunteer at Bolton Hospice and is a member of the sixth form’s student council who organise social and fundraising events at school.

“He embodies the values of Turton Sixth Form — intelligent, independent, and caring for others.”

The award was presented by Pure Potential, a university and careers advice service for students, and financial services firm UBS.