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Remarkable stories on GCSE results day
Tuesday 6 October 2009
The UK's This is Gloucestershire reports on the splendid scholastic achievements of three remarkable students:
MISSING most of the school year with chronic illness did not stop one teenager achieving her dream GCSE results.
On a day when 7,000 pupils across Gloucestershire achieved record results, there were none happier than 16-year-old Melanie Weedon.
Melanie, from Weston Subedge, is battling chronic fatigue syndrome and has had to have work sent home by her teachers at Chipping Campden School.
The teenager achieved six A grades and three B grades, thanks to her hard work and dedication.
Melanie said: "I had quite a few months off, so I had to learn a lot on my own, but I've got amazing teachers who sent me work and my parents helped me.
"It was hard as I was feeling so down. I was telling myself I was going to fail and I'd prepared myself just to scrape passes.
"It was a big shock when I opened the envelope. I'm feeling really good now."
Melanie, who gained As in all science subjects, will study physics, chemistry, biology and geography at A-level.
Her dad David said: "She's had severe depression problems. Whenever she could fight her way into school to do an exam I had to wait to bring her back, but I was confident she was going to get good grades."
Chipping Campden head, Annette France, said: "It is a real achievement for Melanie in spite of long-term illness and being off for most of this year with work being sent home and being tutored remotely."
Many schools in Gloucestershire recorded their best results, including Pittville School, whose A*-C pass rate jumped massively, from 48 per cent to 64 per cent.
Nationally, GCSE pass levels rose again, with two-thirds of exams taken awarded at least a C grade.
However, the level of good English passes dropped and the number of pupils taking foreign language GCSEs also fell.
Another Gloucestershire student who successfully battled against chronic fatigue syndrome to gain top results was Louise Febery, 16.
The Tewkesbury School pupil was also forced to miss lessons with the condition, but managed 14 good GCSEs, including three A grades.
Louise, from Northway, said: "At one point I was only in school for five days in four months and I did all my work at home. I'm very pleased with my results."
The teenager is planning to stay at the school's sixth form, where she will study psychology, sociology, maths and business at A-level.
Boris Sabchev, 17, from Gloucester, a student at Kingsmead School, spoke barely a word of English when he arrived from Bulgaria in 2007.
But yesterday he was delighted to pass eight GCSEs, achieving an A in maths and a B in PE.
Boris, who will study level 3 sport at Gloucestershire College, said: "I'm really pleased to have got these results. It wouldn't have been possible when I first came here, but I've come a long way since then."
The article originally appeared here.
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