Girls do well in A levels despite illness

Three students are celebrating their A level grades – achieved despite having to deal with significant illness.

Uma Paul (pictured above centre with her mum) from Loughborough High School was seriously ill during her A level studies. She was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of Year 12 and had to undergo treatment throughout her studies, resulting in a further year at school. Nevertheless, she now has a place to study Food Marketing and Business at Reading University having achieved BBB in her A levels.

Uma has also worked hard to raise thousands of pounds for the Teenage Cancer Trust both individually and with the support of her school friends and colleagues. She introduced the ‘Hoodie Day’ event to raise money for the TCT, which will now continue as an annual event.

Poppy Smith (pictured above left), also from Loughborough High, suffers from Cystic Fibrosis but does not let this define her or stand in her way, despite the fact that during her studies and while at school she had to undergo intravenous antibiotics and physio three times a day. ‘Super girl’ Poppy is delighted with her A level results – ABB – and will be working for Reuters in Germany during her forthcoming gap year before going onto study International Relations and Modern Languages at Exeter University.

Outside of school Poppy is a keen yachtswoman at Staunton Harold Sailing Club, a Royal Yacht Club Senior instructor, a race coach and powerboat instructor. She plays saxophone and piano to grade 8 standard, is a self-taught guitar player, rock climbs weekly and is currently competing her horse at British eventing. As well as her Reuters internship, during her gap year she plans to travel around Europe, work the ski season in France or Austria, and teach sailing in Sardinia.

Anna Heathcote Woodbridge (pictured right) attends Derby High School. She was forced to miss school and sat only part of her exams after undergoing surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst. Despite her ordeal, Anna achieved three A-levels, including an A* in Religious Studies and an A in Geography. Anna’s 15cm cyst was five times larger than a normal ovarian cyst and she suffered painful post-surgery complications and a haematoma, requiring two blood transfusions.

She said: “The support I had from school was superb through emails and phone calls and my friends were great too, particularly my friend, Juliet, who came to visit me in hospital a lot.

Anna’s grades have secured her a place at her first choice university, the University of Nottingham, where she will go on to study BA Modern Languages (French and Spanish). She hopes to work for the Home Office or the Foreign Office.

You can read more school A level success stories in School News.

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