A-Level Results: Britain's top pupil rejects Oxbridge


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The Independent Online

A COMPREHENSIVE school boy who gained six grade As at A-level yesterday has opted to read medicine at Newcastle University rather than applying to Cambridge.

Nicholas Roberts, 18, whose father went to Cambridge, said he preferred the medical courses at other universities and "wanted a more lively town" than Cambridge.

He scored As in Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Biology and General Studies at King's School, Peterborough.

"There was a lot of pressure because of the expectation that I would do well. I think I did well because I learned it all at the time. I didn't do much revision at all. Before the exams, I just relaxed. I went rowing every day and went to my girl-friend's house every evening."

Nicholas, whose father is a teacher, hopes to be a surgeon.

Several other state school sixth formers also scored six A grades, including Lindsey Hufton at Solihull Sixth form College, who had one of the top five biology marks in the country.

Helen Kyriacou, a pupil at Fulford comprehensive school in York, who scored As in Maths, further maths, chemistry, physics, biology and general studies, is going to read Natural Sciences at Cambridge. She directed a play for younger pupils and played in the National Youth Wind Orchestra while studying.

Stefan King, who was born severely brain damaged, who uses a wheelchair to get around and who needs help with writing, feeding and dressing achieved a B in maths, a C in physics and B in computing.

"We were told 18-and-a-half years ago that he would never walk, never talk, never amount to anything much," said his mother, Bozena King. "We are so proud of him." Stefan has been accepted at Reading University to read Computational Mathematics.

Older people also recorded successes. Terry Tyack, a grandfather, scored his 26th A-level pass. At the age of 73, he picked up a C in modern history after studying at Trowbridge College in Wiltshire. "They called it modern history but it was just like general knowledge for me because I lived through most of it. We had a little champagne at college and now I'm going to take my grandson out for a celebratory bite to eat."

Mr Tyack started taking his A-levels in 1973 and got into the Guinness Book of Records with his 23rd pass in 1997.

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