GCSE success stories: Students who made the grade


Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland thousands of pupils are celebrating and commiserating with each other after receiving their results for their GCSE exams.

For the 23rd year in a row, GCSE pass rates have shown an increase. This year 98.7% of exam entries achieved a pass grade.

Among them were high-achieving children, famous athletes and those who had a number of obstacles standing in their way as they prepared to take their exams.

Maths whizz-kid: Oscar Selby

The seven-year-old not only gained an A* in his maths GCSE but managed to raise thousands of pounds for charity while studying for it.

Oscar is believed to be the youngest to score the top grade in a GCSE exam but said although he found it "hard work", he enjoyed the experience.

The primary school pupil from Epsom in Surrey spent nine months preparing for the exam and said he answered every single question.

He plans to now focus his energies on learning more about science.

Olympic diver: Tom Daley

image captionTom Daley was among several athletes receiving their results on Tuesday

Olympic teenage diver Tom Daley was in Singapore taking part in the Youth Olympic Games when he found out his results.

The 16-year-old was said to be "very happy" with his five A* and two As.

He gained A*s in Spanish, art and design and additional science and an A in English literature.

He switched schools to Plymouth College in Devon just before he sat his first GCSE in June last year because he wanted a "normal school life".

Then he gained an A in science and A*s in maths and English language.

Teenage carer: Leora Taratula-Lyons

image captionLeora Taratula-Lyons had an immense workload to deal with during revision time

Teenager Leora Taratula-Lyons said she was "overwhelmed and shocked" at her nine A*s at GCSE.

The 16-year-old combined her studies with her caring duties for her mother, Fiona Taratula, 45 and younger sister Monique, 11.

Her mother was recovering after complications from eye surgery, while Monique needed extra help after being diagnosed with ME two years ago.

Mrs Taratula proudly said: "For two months during her mock exams I was housebound so Leora looked after me and did all the washing, cooking and cleaning and picked her sister up from school."

Paralympian: Jessica Harper

image captionJessica Harper is a potential Paralympic champion

Jessica Harper, 16, combined revision with training for the 2012 Paralympics in her home city of London.

The Putney High School pupil achieved eight A* grades and two As.

The teenager, who has been identified by British Disability Swimming as a potential champion, said she was "really pleased" with her A* grades for English language, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, history, French and Spanish.

She also gained A grades for mathematics and English literature.

She said French was one of her strongest subjects and she hoped her language skills would be useful during the upcoming Paralympics.

Twin ambitions: Krishan and Jai Patel

image captionKrishan hopes to study law at university, Jai wants to study science

Oxford twins Krishan and Jai-hin Patel have gained 20 A* GCSEs between them.

The 16-year-olds said they had worked "really hard" for their grades and are planning to stay at Magdalen College School to study five A-Levels each.

Krishan studied English, English literature, maths, biology, chemistry, physics, French, history, Latin and Spanish.

His brother took the same exams except he took geography instead of Spanish.

Krishan, who wants to be a lawyer said: "I was so happy, I wasn't expecting the full 10 so it was amazing for both of us.

"We worked really hard so it was good that it paid off in a clean sweep."

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