Belfast Telegraph

GCSE results: Teenagers ponder futures after day of highs and lows in Derry

By Donna Deeney

The faces of students in Londonderry told the story of the highs and lows which results day brings, as the teenagers looked to the future.

St Mary's College was a hive of activity yesterday morning and the early atmosphere of anxiety largely gave way to squeals of delight.

Shania Lavery (17) achieved two A*s, three As, and three Bs, and was delighted. She said: "The exams were not easy, that's for sure. I worked really hard to get my results and I am pleased with my results because they mean I can come back here to St Mary's and sit my A-levels.

"I'm going to do maths, double science and art and, with luck and lots more hard work, go on to university after that."

Fellow St Mary's student Juste Astrauskyte (16) was also delighted with an A*, four As and four Bs. She said: "I got a B in maths which I was surprised but absolutely delighted about. I worked really hard for these exams and my teachers are really pleased with my results too.

"I do want to come back and study business, health and social care and geography at A-level. I would also be interested in doing the BTec in sports but I'm not sure if it going to be available because of the cuts to the school's budget."

Across the Foyle Bridge at Oakgrove Integrated School in the Waterside students were just as relieved.

Megan McKeegan (16) is hoping her results of two Bs, two Cs, and two Ds will allow her to pursue her dream career.

She said: "I want to enrol for the BTec in forensic science at the North West Regional College and I am going there later today to see if I have made it on to the course."

The new marking system introduced for English and maths initially caused some confusion but Ken Tang (16) was relieved with his outcome of three Bs, five Cs and one D.

He said: "My results will allow me to return to Oakgrove to study both A-level and for a BTec in travel and tourism, so I am pleased with that.

"The new marking system which applied to English and maths was very confusing and at first I thought I didn't pass."

Over at Foyle College, Amy Kilgore (16), who achieved an A*, three As, five Bs, and a C in her GCSEs, said: "I found some of the subjects really challenging, particularly Spanish, but others like English, geography and music I thought weren't as tough.

"I have been singing and dancing since I was three and that is where my passion is so I am going to pursue that at A-level and hopefully at university but I won't neglect my academic subjects."

Andrew Smyth (17) reaped the rewards of his hard graft, achieving an impressive nine A*s and one A. His key to success is to have a plan, something that can be applied to everything in life, not just exams.

He said: "I am delighted with my results, but I did work really hard to get them.

"I had a good study plan and disciplined myself to stick to it."

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