Hartlepool student battles back from hard times to gain place at university as Dyke House Academy celebrates significant improvements in A Level results
A Level student James Wales battled back from depression to get the grades he needed to follow his dream of becoming an animator.
The Dyke House Academy student missed many lessons following the death of his granddad Ronald.
But after getting help he succeeded in earning good grades in his A Levels with Bs in art and design, maths and computer science and a C in physics.
James, 18, of the Oxford Road area, said: “I didn’t expect to get anywhere near that because of my problems I had early in the year.
“Due to the bereavement I was having absences all the time and just wasn’t able to concentrate at all.
“I got help through Mind and anti-depressants and came out of it much better really.”
James plans to combine his passions for art, games and comics by studying animation at Sunderland University and hopes to work in the industry after he graduates.
Results at Dyke House Academy, part of the Northern Education Trust, significantly improved this year, and out of an intake of just 34 students, three gained places at Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh universities.
Rachel Skinner, 18, who got A*s and two As who has a place to read medicine at Cambridge University’s Sidney Sussex College.
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She said: “I was nervous when I collected my results but then happy. It is what I needed.
“I’m nervous but excited about going to Cambridge.”
Patrick Collins is off to Durham University to read physics after getting one A* and three As.
And Emily Lane will read Italian and History at Edinburgh University after earning an A and two Bs.
Principal Adam Palmer said: “We are all incredibly proud of what the students have achieved this year.
“Results show a significant year on year improvement, resulting in an increased number of students gaining access to the top universities.”
In the last three years, the sixth form’s A*-B grades have improved from 28% to 50%, and the average grade has improved from C- to C+.
The academy is especially pleased with its maths results with 60% of students getting A*-A, and 70% A*-B, while 100% of students achieved an A in Further Maths.