Darlington School of Mathematics and Science student Chloe Lay achieved 11 GCSEs, including seven A*/As, despite spending several weeks in hospital after a very serious back operation for a condition called scoliosis.
Chloe underwent the operation in March and, after spending more than a week in hospital, was bed bound at home for nine weeks.
Despite being in constant pain, having to take morphine and codeine, and having to remain still and lying down, Chloe continued to revise and study hard.
Staff visited her at home to provide tuition and when she felt well enough she came into school for individual tuition.
Chloe, 16, from Darlington, said: “I knew my GCSEs were really important and I managed to find the strength to study.
“I now feel like everything is finally over and I can move forward – I can think about the future and get myself even better than I am already.”
Chloe is planning to study health and social care at college in Middlesbrough before training to be a paramedic – a job she has always wanted to do.
Sixty per cent of pupils at Darlington School of Mathematics and Science gained A* to C in maths and English with 56 per cent getting 5 A* to C grades including maths and English.
In addition, 20 per cent of students gained A*/A in maths and English and 13 per cent of students gained five or more GCSEs at grade A*/A.
There were some outstanding achievements with Heather Mckim receiving 11 A*/A grades, Andrew Nicol getting 10 A*/A grades and Elaina Jefferies getting 8 A*/A grades.
Heather, Andrew and another pupil Samantha Gould passed their GCSEs in maths early and went on to take a FSM qualification in maths – an exam that prepares the most able students for A-levels. All three students passed with an A.
Interim head teacher Moira Green said what was particularly pleasing was the unprecedented number of A*/A grades which shows the school meets the needs of all students including the very brightest.
“After a great HMI report in the spring the school is absolutely thrilled by an incredible set of results.
“The improvements at DSMS have been stratospheric and we are so proud of the pupils.
“It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and staff that we are celebrating great success at the school.
“In the short time that I have been here I have watched the class of 2016 grow in skill and confidence resulting in their significant achievements.
“I know that both students and staff toiled tirelessly including after school, at weekends and in the holidays. DSMS is poised for great things and I will watch eagerly as the school grows from strength to strength.”