Star students at town’s high school celebrate A-level results

Layla Shafiq and Tim Bryce. Picture by Lewis Jackson.
Layla Shafiq and Tim Bryce. Picture by Lewis Jackson.

Teenagers at King Edward VI School in Morpeth spoke to the Herald about their A-level success and future following results day.

Thomas Earl, who was KEVI’s head boy during Year 13, is looking forward to an American adventure after getting A*s in each of his subjects – chemistry, maths, further maths and physics.

Four successful KEVI A-level students. From left, Thomas Earl, Rachel Hughes, Libby Eaton and Will Capps. Picture by Lewis Jackson.

Four successful KEVI A-level students. From left, Thomas Earl, Rachel Hughes, Libby Eaton and Will Capps. Picture by Lewis Jackson.

But before he starts his degree in science or engineering at the prestigious Princeton University in New Jersey next year, he can choose his subject in early 2019, he is doing a gap year in India.

The Morpeth town centre resident said: “I decided that I wanted to do something a little different and so I applied to US universities, as well as unis in the UK.

“Princeton was my first choice and I was delighted to be offered a place at the university. The opportunities it offers was a big factor – for example, it is funding my gap year.

“From what I’ve heard, it’s a great place to study and I’m looking forward to living in another country.

Emily Caisley. Picture by Lewis Jackson.

Emily Caisley. Picture by Lewis Jackson.

“After travelling for the first month of my time in India in the Uttarakhand region, I will be doing some charity work for the next seven months in the city of Udaipur.

“This will include some teaching and helping people overcome being placed in a lower class under the class system.

“My final month in the country will be spent travelling around the Ladakh region. This will involve climbing as the region includes some Himalayan mountains.”

Emily Caisley, who lives in Hepscott, was hoping to go to a US university in the autumn. She received offers, but said they were financially too high for her to be able to go.

Jena Pandya. Picture by Lewis Jackson.

Jena Pandya. Picture by Lewis Jackson.

However, the 18-year-old believes this could end up being a blessing in disguise.

She said: “I’ll be applying to US and UK universities next year and hopefully my A-level results (A* grades in biology and chemistry and an A in maths) will give me a better chance of receiving some financial support from US universities.

“I was initially looking at a biology course, but now I’m looking at doing a neuroscience degree and having this gap year has enabled me to go to Australia for about three months from January – I’ll be working out there to help pay for the visit.

“All this means I’m feeling positive as I think not going to study in the US later this year could actually work out better for me.”

Layla Shafiq from Longhorsley received A*s in biology, chemistry and maths and is going on to do a degree in medicine at Edinburgh University.

The 18-year-old King Edward VI School student said: “I’m really surprised that I’ve done so well. I was most nervous about maths, so I’m over the moon to get an A* in that subject.

“I love science subjects and I wanted to do something where I can help people, so that’s why I’ve chosen to study medicine.

“I’m very excited about starting my degree and living in a big city.

“I would particularly like to thank my chemistry teacher Mr Tedder for his support.”

Layla is pictured with fellow KEVI student Tim Bryce.

He will study geography at Lancaster University after gaining an A* in economics and B grades in geography and psychology.

A three-year professional dance and musical theatre course, validated by the University of Greenwich, at Bird College in Kent awaits Jena Pandya.

She achieved an A* in photography and As in drama and theatre studies and media studies.

The Loansdean resident said: “Performing arts has always been my thing and I needed to balance my studies with auditions for drama schools.

“Being involved in musicals and showcases at KEVI helped me to figure out what I want to do.

“Bird College is an inviting and happy place, as well as being highly rated, and the teaching at my audition was so professional.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of living so far away from home, although I’ll be based in a small town that is a similar size to Morpeth.”

Rachel Hughes, who lives in Morpeth town centre, will study medicine at the University of Sheffield after gaining A* grades in biology and chemistry and an A in maths.

She will join her brother Aidan at the university. The graduate in mechanical engineering with nuclear technology will start a PhD in the autumn.

The 18-year-old said: “I’m really pleased to have got the grades I needed as the course details look great.

“I was surprised to receive an A* for biology – I didn’t think those papers went particularly well.

“I’m really looking forward to starting my degree. Studying medicine is what I’ve always wanted to do and I love the city of Sheffield.”

Libby Eaton achieved exactly the same results as Rachel. She will be doing a degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Surrey.

“I was really nervous for the last few weeks and I’m in shock that I’ve done so well,” she said.

“I’ve wanted to study veterinary medicine for a long time and I’ve worked at Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group once a week for just over a year.”

Will Capps received A grades in biology, chemistry and geography. He will study international environmental science at the University of Nottingham.