October 22 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 21, 2014
There were plenty of cheers, screams and phone calls home as students around Norwich collected their GCSE results.
Among the anxious students collecting their envelopes this morning was 16-year-old Harriet Cunnington, from Norwich High School for Girls who had just started Year 10 when her brother Jason Royal died.
Jason was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at 19 but was given the all-clear after treatment. He was later re-diagnosed with the illness and died in December 2012.
Harriet found starting her GCSEs at a time of tragedy very difficult.
She said: “Everything seemed to go wrong. I would be stuck in a lesson and my mind would just wander to it.”
In the end, her strength and determination pulled her through and yesterday she was awarded an excellent set of results.
Harriet acknowledged her brother provided her with added motivation.
“I would think about how proud he would be if I did well,” she said.
“But I didn’t want to use him as an excuse because he is worth so much more.”
It was double trouble as two sets of twins also received their results from Norwich High School.
Hope and Georgia Paganini, both 16, from Norwich, were nervous beforehand but delighted when they found out what results they had received.
Hope was awarded 3 A*s, 6 As and 2 Bs. She said: “I feel relieved and I did better than I thought I would.
“I was anxious about English but got an A.”
Twin sister Georgie achieved 1 A* and 9 As. “I’m happyish,” she said.
“I’m especially pleased with my result in German.”
The girls admitted there was occasionally some sibling rivalry.
“We did feel the competition,” Hope said. Before Georgie added: “but we also helped each other as well.”
They will now go on to study A Levels at Paston College in North Walsham.
Charlotte and Katie Room, also 16 and from Norwich, were also finding out their results.
Katie decided to open hers at school and was very pleased with the grades she received, while Charlotte was waiting to open hers later.
The girls said that being twins they were often compared to one another.
Katie said: “It adds pressure if you’re compared to someone all the time. It’s stressful.”
Charlotte said: “We’re very different so it’s unfair to compare us. We have different strengths.”
Both girls will now move on to the Sixth Form at Norwich High School.
Students at Taverham High School also juggled extra-curricular interests with their studies, including Alex Madden from Drayton.
The 16-year-old passed his GCSEs with flying colours, bagging five A grades, and is also a talented athlete.
He trained at the British Ski Academy in France, but returned to Norwich to concentrate on exams.