GCSE success stories around the county

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IT is hard enough to get nine A*s, two As and a B in your GCSEs, but 16-year-old Maia Jordan has done it all while being a young carer at home.

The King Alfred's Academy pupil, from West Hendred, helps look after her three younger siblings – Kasia, 14, Jan, 11, and 10-year-old Eliza – because her mother, Anne, suffers from mental health problems and works full-time as a primary school teacher.

She said: “It means making their school lunches, making them breakfast, and helping them do their homework when they come home from school. And I do a lot of the housework. It becomes difficult to manage school work on top.

“I had quite high aspirations for what grades I wanted to get, so it was hard trying to do the amount of revision I needed to get those grades.”

Maia took on her caring responsibilities last year when her older brother, Isaac, 19, left to travel through Australia and Vietnam before going to Cambridge University in September.

Now her GCSEs are in the bag, Maia is going to do her A-Levels and then hopes to go to the University of Edinburgh to study performance costume design.

Meanwhile 16-year-old Emily Jones a student at Abingdon’s John Mason School, found herself giving birth four weeks before her exams started.

She said: “It was difficult, every time I did my exams and was revising she just kept moving around and was distracting me a little bit, it was quite hard.

“Lilia is four weeks in a couple of days and I had her while revising.

“I want to be a Macmillan nurse so I’m going to try my best next year in college to try and get what I need to do that.”

She managed to get two Cs in Art and Design and Textiles, three Ds, three Es, two Fs and one X.

And Arianna Cantarelli, a pupil at St Helen and St Katharine from Boar’s Hill, had to dictate most of her exams after breaking her right wrist in a fall.

The 16-year-old, who got 10 A*s and two As, said: “It was easier than I expected but in mocks and at school we had practised writing it down and it was very different to what I had been preparing to do.”

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