ONLY boys were present at Bolton School on results day ­— and only a small number at that — because of social distancing measures to contain coronavirus.

The school was again number on in the borough for the top A-level grades achieved by its students.

Headteacher of the boys' division, Philip Britton said: "We are lucky at Bolton School to have a large number of pupils and very stable results year on year, so that the process used to calculate the grades this year has produced outcomes very much in line with our expectations.

"The vast majority of the grades we submitted to the board have not been altered. If it was a normal year we would be celebrating a strong set of results.

"I think it is important we do still celebrate with the young men getting their results this year.

"Lockdown came just as they had been revising for several months, as well as continuing to study new material, to do their mock exams.

"They were doing those in the first week after half term, as the country was assimilating the emerging health issues as people returned from February trips abroad.

"They worked hard and that hard work has, in an unusual way, brought them a set of results to be proud of today.

"Although we cannot be together in school in quite the same way today I hope that everyone, in their own way, finds a means to mark a notable rite of passage in their education and life."

Breakdown of results at the boys' division was; 100 per cent pass rate, percentage pass at grade A* - A was 49.4 per cent, percentage pass at grade A* - B 75.5 per cent, percentage pass at grade A* - C stood at 91.4 per cent, percentage pass at grade A* was 17.5 per cent and percentage of pupils gaining at least ABB in facilitating subjects was 55 per cent.

And at the girls' division; pass rate was a100 per cent, at grade A* + A 54.4 per cent; at grade A* - B 83.8 per cent, pass at grade A* - C 95.4 per cent, pass at grade A*was 18.5 per cent.

Sue Hincks, headmistress of the girls' division, said: "It has been a very strange day in the girls' division indeed.

"Normally we would expect the buzz of students delighting in each others' success whereas this year, we have not been able to open our doors to give out results.

"All the girls have passed all their A-levels. The percentage pass at A* to C is 95.4 per cent.

"This year, the percentage pass at A* and A has gone up to 54.4 per cent ­—against 51.9 per cent last year­— 18.5 per cent of grades were at A*.

"As always, we are immensely proud of all the girls and wish them well as they head off for university, to complete an apprenticeship, or to begin employment.

"The majority of the Centre's Assessed Grades have been upheld and we are looking closely at those subjects or individual grades where an appeal might be necessary."

There were plenty of individual successes and a number of students going to continue their studies at some of the world's best, including Cambridge University.

Alex Gao, aged 18, achieved 5A* and will be studying engineering at Cambridge and is already counting down the days to university.

He said he did work hard during lockdown.