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Grandfather passes record 26th A-level.

Grandfather Terry Tyack was celebrating breaking his own world record for A-levels with his 26th pass.

Mr Tyack, aged 73, picked up a grade C in modern history when he went to collect his results along with hundreds of other students at Trowbridge College in Wiltshire.

Now he has decided to try and make it 27 next year and he is hoping to enrol on a film studies course in the autumn.

Mr Tyack said: "They called it modern history but it was just like general knowledge for me because I lived through most of it.

"The syllabus went up to 1980 and covered both world wars, Hitler and everything which I still remember quite well."

Mr Tyack, who lives in Trowbridge, started taking his A-levels in 1973 to help encourage his daughter and got into the Guinness Book of Records with his 23rd pass in 1997.

He has one grade A, in business studies, three grade Bs, six grade Cs, nine grade Ds and seven grade Es. He has one fail, in applied maths.

Eight Essex girls, who attend the same school, all got five grade As. Ms Monica Curtis, head teacher at Chelmsford County High School for Girls, said the success of her school was due to the hard work of teachers and pupils and called for an end to "dumbing down" criticism.

She said today's teachers were more resourceful and inventive and A-level students more conscientious than their predecessors. Out of 487 exams taken, only four papers received failure grades.

"I am absolutely thrilled. They were a good year and I always expected very highly of them. But they have exceeded expectations," she said.

"I don't think it is dumbing down. I think we as teachers are getting better at doing it and I think the kids are better at doing it as well."

A Moldovan teenager who beat off fierce competition to win a place at a leading Devon school is to take up a place at Cambridge University after gaining A grades.

Olesya Dmitracova won the scholarship to Stover School, near Newton Abbot, ahead of hundreds of other applicants from her country.

With top marks in art, history, maths and Russian, the 18-year-old is now to take up a scholarship to read Modern Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge - having turned down a place at Harvard in the United States.

Headteacher Philip Bujak said Olesya was one of three scholarship girls who came to the school under the Eastern European scholarship scheme run by the Headmasters' Conference.

He said Olesya, who came from a poor background, had to improve her English considerably to study for her A-levels and pass the Cambridge interview.

The youngster's performance impressed the school so much that they extended her scholarship for a second year.
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Title Annotation:National
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 20, 1999
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