Deafness no bar to being top achiever
A DEAF Great Baddow High School student scored top marks for her GCSEs.
Laura Talbot, 16, who has hearing-enabling cochlear implants in both ears, achieved three A*s and seven As.
She studies with the help of a team of sign-language support workers, as the school has provision for 17 hearing impaired students, with a dedicated team of 14 who help them communicate in lessons.
Laura said she began to lose her hearing from the age of four, but had implants when she was nine and 14 years of age, which greatly helped.
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Teachers and pupils were celebrating another personal best for 'Team GB'.
Head teacher Carrie Lynch said: "I am very pleased with our students' results, which reflect a lot of hard work by the students and team work with our teachers and parents.
"An outstanding 94 per cent achieved five or more GCSEs at grade C or above, and many did fantastically well to achieve or exceed challenging targets, so we're thrilled at another PB for Team GB!"
Although the number of pupils passing five or more GCSEs, including English and mathematics, was "very good" at 63 per cent, she was concerned over English grades.
"We will be doing all we can to ensure our students are awarded the grade they deserve."
She particularly praised Katherine Baker, Vanessa Fenlon, Matthew Metson, Georgia Goodridge, Laura Talbot, George Shaw, Hadden Turner, Alex Hemmings, Adam Silk, Harri-Nicole Kinsman and Mark Bandell.
Vanessa Felon, who gained six A*s and four As, has ambitions of becoming a mechanical engineer and has had work experience at BAE Systems.
"I like the idea of designing prototypes," said Vanessa.
Her mother, Teresa, who teaches physics at the school, added: "Her results have nothing to do with me, she works her socks off!"
Katherine Baker, who won seven A*s and four As, plans to attend Sixth Form at Colchester Royal Grammar School, and then to Oxford University, to study law and become a property lawyer. Judo blue belt Alex Hemmings, grabbed four A*s and five As, and wants a career involving sport.