Jessica Coyle a star of class and pool
TALENTED teenager Jessica Coyle has made a big splash this summer, scoring 11 A* grades at GCSE just weeks after winning three swimming medals for Great Britain.
The pupil from St Bede’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College in Lanchester, County Durham, won gold and two bronze medals at the Catholic Schools Games in Portugal, just after sitting her exams.
She won gold in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly.
As well as the 11 straight A* grades, Jessica, from Tantobie, also achieved an A in additional maths – the highest grade possible.
Jessica, who is planning to study A-levels in maths, biology, chemistry and Spanish at St Bede’s, swims at Stanley or Consett baths several times a week with friend and classmate, Emma Lishman, from Medomsley.
Emma got six A*s and four As and is planning to return to St Bede’s for maths, biology, chemistry and geography A-levels.
Meanwhile, Tom McNamee is off to take up a two-year football scholarship at Sunderland Academy.
Tom, who plays centre back, got an A*, an A and three Bs. Tom’s dad, Gerard, is a coach at the academy.
Tom said: “There’s a lot more scrutiny when it’s your dad, but I’m sure it will work out okay.”
For another year, St Bede’s topped the table for the best GCSE results in County Durham, with an impressive 82% of students achieving five or more passes at A* to C including maths and English.
Meanwhile, 98% managed five or more passes at grade A* to C across all subjects.
Headteacher Maria Matthews said: “We are thrilled at these fantastic results; a testament to the outstanding teaching and learning at St Bede’s.
“The school has faced challenges this year, but we really do everything to nurture the very best in every student, whatever his or her ability.
“We encourage them to be independent, innovative and creative-thinkers who are excited about learning and discovering new goals.
“We are proud of their success and proud of the wonderful teachers and support staff who have guided them on their journey.”