• Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

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It’s been a case of double success in more ways than one for St Michael’s Catholic Academy in Billingham despite all the odds.

Head teacher Helen Keough said the school has had fantastic results and it’s all down to the hard work, bravery and determination of the students and the staff who have overcome the many difficulties of getting back into exams after the pandemonium caused by the pandemic.

Having three sets of twins in the school has added to the interest.

Joe and Ben Lee and Rahen and Dahen Aryo admitted they did take a certain amount of delight in the confusion they occasionally caused for staff because of how alike they are.

Delighted by their results they are all going on to do a different array of apprenticeships locally.

Helen Keough said Dahen and Rahen had played a major part in making a special video about having positive relationships for the school.

“They have been really positive role models and part of the senior leadership team, they’ve made such a great contribution to the life of the school.”

Lockdown had been hugely stressful for all the youngsters. Dahen said: “We were lucky because we had each other. When we were younger as twins there was a lot of competition but as we got older we started to help each other, and that was very important through the lockdowns.”

Joe Lee said it has been a really stressful time. “The closer it got to the exams the harder it was. But I think it was right to be honest to bring back the exams, they had to do it, it was hard that it was us, but it’s fair that it should happen.”

Despite getting excellent results Devon Woodward agreed it’s been a really hard time for everyone. With six 9s, two 8s and a six she is now planning to go onto do sciences and hopes to become a dentist.

She said it had been a really hard time for everyone. “I was really pleased with the results.

“We’re all so pleased we’ve got to this point though. It has been a really stressful time. We were locked down for the whole of Year 9 and part of Year 10. I didn’t mind on-line learning so much I quite liked to be working on my own ,but it was challenging for so many people.

Helen Keough said they were proud of all the youngsters and all that they had achieved. She added: “We are particularly proud of all our students and their wonderful results when they have suffered so many disruption to their education and not just in the lockdown but also how many times they were sent home from school because of close contacts, this disruption happened throughout their GCSE’s. They have been extremely brave and shown great resilience in sitting these external exams for the first time in three years.

“And also knowing that the results have been affected by reductions in the numbers of top grades makes it extra special when we see their fantastic achievements.

“I am delighted with the progress shown by all the students this year there have been some exceptional performances and it is down to the hard work and determination of all of our students and teachers against all odds.”