A Holt teenager is celebrating after becoming one of the top academic achievers in the world after completing an intensive two-year alternative to A-levels.

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Nicholas Stromberg, 18, from Gresham’s School, gained the top 45 mark in the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma – a score only achieved by less than 0.5pc of IB students globally.

It is thought the Holt-based independent school is the only school in Norfolk that teaches the diploma and Mr Stromberg was one of 38 pupils who took exams for the qualification this year at Gresham’s.

All pupils passed the IB, covering six subjects marked out of seven, and five achieved 40 or above, which is equivalent to four A*s at A-level.

The other top achievers were Helen Lister, 18, from Saxlingham, who achieved 43; Ellioté Long, 18, from Barney, who achieved 42; and Emma Grimm and Johannes Untch from Germany, who both achieved 40.

Mr Stromberg, the son of a Gresham’s housemaster, will read history at the University of Cambridge.

He said: “I was surprised and delighted when I opened my results. I needed 42 points and was quite hopeful of getting that. I never dreamed of getting 45. There were some tough moments; however, I was glad I chose to do the IB.”

The teenager studied French, maths, English, geography, history and environmental systems and societies, which is a combination of biology and geography.

Douglas Robb, Gresham’s headmaster-elect, said: “I am very proud of the amazing set of results achieved. It is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our students and their teachers.”

The IB is taught around the world and allows youngsters to cover a wide subject area, as well as go into detail on certain topics.

Gresham’s has taught it since 2007 when 11 pupils took up the diploma.

Last year, 18 took the IB exams and across the world 108 gained the top 45 mark.

Simon Kinder, deputy head of teaching and learning at Gresham’s, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. This is the biggest cohort of students we have had doing the diploma. The fact that everybody achieved their diploma with a points average of 34 is great.”

Do you have an education story? Email education correspondent Martin George at martin.george@archant.co.uk

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