Students at Outwood Academy Adwick, north of Doncaster, concentrated on celebrating their results as their parents described how uncertainly over GCSEs had caused stress and anxiety.
Piper Fagg, 16, hugged her tearful mum Hayley Thomson after getting grades "a bit better" than she expected, including a nine in English Language and eights in Spanish and Geography.
Ms Thomson, from Woodlands, Doncaster, said: "I am so proud of her."
Asked about the run-up to the results, she said: "I think it's been awful. I remember when they first shut the schools, Boris (Johnson) talked to the nation and said that the kids would get what they wanted.
"And he went back on that and they've been through so much stress and anxiety. It's been a nightmare.
"The change around... is that because they're going to be future voters? Who's to say?"
Eva Rudkin, 16, and her mum Moya were also overjoyed by her results, which included grade eights in history and English language.
They said the last few months had been strange and Eva was ready to be back in school.
Her mum said: "She said that coming down. She just said, 'I've not been here for so long, it feels strange to come back'.
"Especially to come and get all this."
She told her daughter: "You've done so well, I'm so proud of you."
Asked if they had been worried, Ms Rudkin, from Skellow, Doncaster, said to Eva: "Up until Monday at 4 o'clock you were not in a good state, were you?
"But, when they announced that they were ditching the algorithm and going with what they'd been told in the beginning - the mock result and teacher input - we were a lot happier then, weren't you?
"You've done brilliantly, I'm so proud."
Outwood Academy Adwick was one of the few schools in the area to hand out results in person to students who wanted to go in.
The school had special measures in place with three results zones set up across the site and students coming in at an appointed time throughout the morning to ensure social distancing.
Principal Andy Scruby said he wanted to strike a balance between safety and being able to celebrate with the students and give them crucial advice about their future.
He said: "The school is all about strong relationships between the teaching staff, support staff and the students. We work together as a community.
"This has been an opportunity to bring that community back together and celebrate the achievements of the students."
Mr Scruby said the last few months had been challenging, especially for this year group.
Mr Scruby said: "It's been extremely challenging for them. At the point when they left us in March, they were in a position where they were prepared for exams and that pathway to the exams was cut short.
"But they've acted absolutely admirably, they've continued to work hard. I'm proud to see today that they've got the result they deserved and to see them going on to these great next destinations."