Students triumph over adversity in record GCSE results

Dan Mattison is celebrating some top GCSE results, less than two years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Dan Mattison is celebrating some top GCSE results, less than two years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Student Dan Mattison is celebrating some top GCSE results, less than two years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The Cramlington Learning Village student was diagnosed just two weeks into the start of his GCSE courses and, as a result, missed virtually all of the school year.

Catriona Wilkinson and Chloe Beaney were delighted with their GCSE results.

Catriona Wilkinson and Chloe Beaney were delighted with their GCSE results.

And he was delighted today to discover he got seven A*s and an A.

“I just tried to catch up when I could, really. I’m still on treatment and have been all the time. The treatment’s a lot easier now so I can get back to things," said Dan.

“The school’s been great, sending work to my home when I was off and helping me to catch up when I had to miss lessons for hospital visits. I was a little bit surprised by my results but obviously delighted.”

He will study maths, biology, chemistry and PE A-Levels and hopes to become a doctor.

Another student who triumphed over adversity is Chloe Beaney, who had a heart transplant in November 2014.

Chloe, who had to undergo chemotherapy at the age of two and developed a serious heart condition when she was 12, said: “I didn’t expect what I got, so I am quite proud of myself. The school’s been so helpful with extra tuition, trying to make me comfortable with what I’m doing.”

She passed all of her exams, apart from one which she will re-sit, despite missing all of the first year of her GCSE courses.

Her mum Catriona Wilkinson said: “It’s been a very good day. A day we thought we might not actually see. We’re so amazingly proud of her. The school has been fantastic. I just couldn’t have asked for better help for her.”

Another proud parent was Brenda Hayton, whose son Peter is visually impaired. Peter received two A*s, four As and three Bs.

“I am so proud of him,” said Brenda. “He always does the best he can and deserves these results.”

Like Dan, Ellie Coaker and Gemma Clark hope to pursue careers in medicine.

Ellie received eight A*s and an A, while Gemma’s results were six A*s and two As.

“I was bit overwhelmed with my results but obviously extremely happy,” said Ellie. Gemma said she was 'elated' with what she had done.

While they are now looking forward to a further two years of studying A-Levels at Cramlington Learning Village, for one student – Adam Shrewry – the visit to the school to pick up his results could be his last time there.

Adam’s results of four A*s, four As and a B has confirmed that he will be heading off to Eton College – one of the world’s most famous schools – on a scholarship.

The school is celebrating its second set of record results in a week.

More than three quarters of students were awarded a C grade or higher in their GCSE maths – the school’s best-ever performance – and 74 per cent achieved a grade C or higher in English.

Overall, 64 per cent of students received five A* to C grades - including maths and English. That was an increase of six per cent on last year’s figure and comes just a week after A-Level students recorded the most successful results in the school’s history. More than half of them passed their exams with A*, A or B grades.

Head teacher Wendy Heslop said: “Students and staff have worked incredibly hard throughout the year and their efforts have been rewarded. I am absolutely delighted with the results.”

Seventeen students achieved eight A* and A grades for their GCSEs. A further 52 were awarded five A* or As.