ANXIOUS students and their hopeful parents quietly filed into Edgefield Secondary School's hall yesterday afternoon, where its pioneer batch of students received their O-level examination results.
Many, however, left with smiles as the school outperformed even some of the more established ones.
A total of 195 Secondary 4 students took the O-level examinations last year, and 93.3 per cent scored five passes or more, better than the national average of 83.3 per cent.
"I am proud of my students," said principal Leong Kok Kee. "For a new school, we have made a good start, but we have to continue building on what we have done well."
The school, which is in Punggol, started with 320 students, in both the Express and Normal streams, in 2011.
"Four years ago, these students began their secondary school education with us and, in the blink of an eye, some are now moving on to pursue greater things, in the ongoing journey to better themselves," Mr Leong said.
As with any new school, Edgefield had to prove itself.
"Any parent will be worried because there are no benchmarks to compare against," said 42-year-old manager Charanjeet Kaur, whose daughter Dashreen scored seven distinctions and one pass.
"But the students have set a high standard, and this is not possible without the hard work of the teachers."
More than 50 parents were present yesterday, many taking leave from work to be with their children.
Stanley Ho, 17, who achieved seven distinctions and a pass, said: "The school may not seem as good compared to others, but the teachers still made the extra effort to help us.
"There wasn't much pressure as we didn't have any seniors to compare with. We just had to do our best."
For some, the road was long and often arduous.
Samuel Lau, 17, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome - a rare disorder in which a person's immune system damages its own nerve cells - when he was 14, and was in a wheelchair for weeks.
He needed four months of treatment, including intense physiotherapy, before he made a full recovery.
"I am thankful to the teachers who specially set aside time to go through the things that I missed," he said. He scored three distinctions and five passes.
His father, Mr Bernard Lau, a 45-year-old real estate agent, said: "There are many challenges that come with Edgefield being a new school, but it has slowly established itself over the years.
"At the end of the day, it is not about whether the school is established or not, but how much effort the students put in."