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Linton Village College GCSE students praised for their "stoicism and resilience"





The principal of Linton Village College has applauded the fortitude of students after they received their GCSE results today.

Among the students at the school to earn particular praise were Mildenhall Fen Tigers speedway rider Sam Norris, who completed his GCSEs despite suffering a severe brain injury while competing in a race at the British Youth Championships in Glasgow in June 2019.

LVC principal Helena Marsh said: "It has been an exceptional year for us all, but in particular our Year 11 students who have foregone their traditional school leavers’ experiences and rites of passage.

Linton Village College students, from left to right: Olivia Clarke, Zoe Clapham and Olivia Marshall celebrating their GCSE results today. Submitted picture
Linton Village College students, from left to right: Olivia Clarke, Zoe Clapham and Olivia Marshall celebrating their GCSE results today. Submitted picture

"While examinations are typically stressful, they are an important demarcation of the end of secondary education and capture students’ academic accomplishments."

This year, the awarding of GCSEs has been replaced by a Centre Assessed Grade process.

This has involved teachers estimating the grades that students would have achieved had they sat the exams, using their best professional judgements. Subject rankings of predicted grades were then scrutinised and moderated by subject teams and senior leaders.

Sam Norris with his parents Chris and Claire upon his return to Mildenhall Fen Tigers track after his accident. Picture by Carol Downie
Sam Norris with his parents Chris and Claire upon his return to Mildenhall Fen Tigers track after his accident. Picture by Carol Downie

The government has decided that the Centre Assessed Grades would stand with some students’ grades being increased as a result of a centrally applied moderation algorithm.

Mrs Marsh said: “Now, more than ever, it is important to recognise and celebrate students’ broad educational and personal achievements.

"I am proud of LVC students’ stoicism and resilience as their time at LVC ended prematurely.

Charlie Walker. Submitted picture
Charlie Walker. Submitted picture

"There are many examples of students who have shown exceptional determination, compassion and drive during these challenging times.”

Charlie Walker is one such student. Since the lockdown in March he has made daily trips from Balsham Post Office and stores, using his modified bike trailer, to deliver essential groceries to vulnerable, shielding village residents.

Charlie is moving on to study a Level 3 Diploma in Sport at Cambridge Regional College.

Meanwhile, Sam Norris, who was the victim of a serious motorbike accident a year ago, at the time of lockdown was making amazing strides to sit all of his GCSE exams.

"His perseverance on and off the track with his acquired brain injury has been remarkable", said Mrs Marsh.

Sam will continue his studies in Motor Mechanics at Cambridge Regional College and is preparing to speak at a neuro conference in October.

Despite her exams being cancelled, Cleo Gillibrand demonstrated excellent independent learning skills swapping revision for completing extensive numbers of online learning modules available through the BeReady careers and curriculum platform.

Cleo is looking forward to joining Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge to study Biology, Chemistry and Geography.

Throughout his time at the college James Gant’s contribution to the school community through his technical support for enrichment events was "exceptional", said Mrs Marsh.

He will continue his love of technical theatre at West Suffolk College where he will study a 2 year Diploma in Production Arts.

Finally, Thomas Morgan who joined LVC at the end of Year 8 and has demonstrated hard work and perseverance throughout his time studying at the college.

In September Thomas will continue his studies in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at the Stephen Perse Sixth Form in Cambridge.

Mrs Marsh added: "There are many other Linton Village College students that have been equally impressive with their hard work, fortitude and grit.

"All have been a delight to watch grow into exceptional young people during their time at the college.

"We wish them every success in the next step of their education, careers and lives."