A graduation ceremony at the end of year eight marked the move to GCSE study for pupils at Trinity Academy in Doncaster.
Family members attended the event involving 235 pupils, who will wear senior ties in September.
Each student received a certificate and those who graduated with honours received a mortar board.
A further group of students were recognised for special achievement.
Principal David Page said: “Year eight have reached a standard that will help them to move up through the academy. You have got to work hard all the way through secondary school if you want to do well, achieve your personal best and realise your dreams.
“It’s pressure, and it has been hard at times, but better to have that pressure early on than to try and catch up later. We have set the bar particularly high to achieve honours, so those students can be very proud at the standard they have reached.”
Academic director for key stage three, Shaun McArthur, added that it had been a challenging year.
He said: “They’ve really wanted this, there’s been a real build-up within the year group towards today. Parents have been very engaged and asked what they could do to help their children.
“Our graduation ceremony, which we have done for the last three years, is a lovely climax and reward for all the students’ efforts. They have the knowledge, skills and, importantly, the right attitude to start on their GCSEs and leave a legacy of improved attainment.”
Special prizes were awarded as follows:
Amy Butler, geographer and historian; Amelia Hutchinson, reader; Chloe Feirn, writer; Rachael Evans, linguist; Heather Phillipson, mathematician; Ted Green, scientist.
Honours graduates were: Alice Ball, Alexa Barker, Amy Butler, Leon Chappell, Oliver Clark, Kai Davenport, Chloe Feirn, Taylor Gray, Ted Green, Mollie Hames, Kia Holgate, Amelia Hutchinson, Hannah Jackson, Mitchell Jackson, Sacha Jones, Samuel Middleton, Molly Plant, Kelly-Nicole Roberts, Cleo Rogers, Erin Scott, Alice Smith, Caitlan Smith, Amy Stewart, Harrison Taylor, Courtney Wainwright, Emma Walker, Luke Westacott, Casey Wilkinson, Mia Wood.