Standout stories on GCSE results day
A FOWEY student who was struck down with meningitis had reason to celebrate this week – after picking up top marks in his GCSE results.
Ben Turner contracted the condition earlier this year and was left hospitalised. But his love of basketball and a fighting spirit meant he was back in school in a matter of weeks.
When Ben collected his results, he was delighted to have achieved four A*s, two As and two Bs.
Ben said: "I was feeling pretty nervous to start with but I'm feeling much more relieved and much better about myself because I got way higher than I was expecting.
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"I have no idea what I want to do, but this will be enough to get me into college."
But any immediate celebrations were put on hold as the Fowey student had some catching up to do on the basketball court.
With a smile, he added: "I'll hopefully celebrate tonight but I have basketball academy right now and have to see a load of 6ft 8 people, which is pretty daunting."
Fowey head teacher John Perry said Ben's achievement was of particular note.
"We are very proud of all of our students' achievements, but Ben's stand out," he said.
"It is a real testament to his spirit, as well as the wonderful support of his family, his friends and his teachers that he has achieved this.
"No one deserves greater success than Ben and the whole school is proud of him."
Chloe Dobbs had a very different reason to be enjoying the euphoria of outstanding GCSE results on Thursday.
She picked up an A* in maths at just 13 years old.
She began studying for the GCSE in Year 8.
Under the tutelage of head of maths Samantha Munro, and among Year 10 pupils, Chloe managed to attain the A* result two years early.
She thinks her natural ability with numbers could be down to something known as spatial sequence synaesthesia in which people with the condition see numbers differently.
Chloe said: "Spatial sequence synaesthesia is where you see numbers and days of the year all in a 3-D space in your head; I only just found out what is was a couple of weeks ago and because I've had it all my life and have always seen numbers the same way I just assumed everyone saw them like that.
"I think that might be why I find it easier.
"I am really pleased I got the A* because if it had been an A, I would have wanted to retake it."
Miss Munro said the school was very proud of her achievement.
"It's a great result and shows what can be achieved with an interest in the subject and a willingness to work hard."
For more on our GCSE coverage in Fowey, see pages 37 to 43.