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Holly, 16, is the star student with three early A-levels.

A STUDENT who taught herself GCSEs has collected three A* grades in her A levels - on her last day as a 16-year-old.

Despite achieving the top grades in biology, chemistry and mathematics at The King's Academy, in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, Holly Grob must delay her dream to study medicine because she is too young to go to university.

Instead she is heading to Mexico for five months to do charity work.

Holly grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and arrived on Teesside in January 2015 as her dad Ralph joined Wilton as a chemical engineer.

Former head of sixth form at The King's Academy Sally Gray said: "Although she was only 15 then, Holly had done her GCSEs so we started her on her AS levels in Year 12 to see how she did. She only had four months to complete them but she just aced it. We had no concerns about her doing A-levels ahead of time."

"It was meant to be a practice year and I knew I could re-sit the exams if I didn't do well. I'm so happy and really pleased with my results," said Holly, of Coulby Newham, who was homeschooled in South Africa.

She taught herself nine iGCSE subjects from text books, taking most of her exams at the British Council exam centre, aged 13.

"It was a huge amount of hard graft but I really enjoy studying. It's been really good at The King's Academy and I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was a lot of hard work to get it done but definitely worth it," said Holly, whose mum Lesley teaches art in care homes.

The academy celebrated its best ever A-level results.

Outstanding individual stories of success are supported by overall results that saw 90% of all grades being at C or better, the highest rate the academy has achieved in 11 years of A levels and up 12% on last year.

The proportion of A*-B grades, at 61%, was the second highest percentage to date with 14 students achieving the "premium" grade combination of at least ABB.

The success was across rigorous, academic qualifications with 100 per cent of grades being at C or better in 13 different subjects. Two thirds of maths students achieved at least a grade B, with similar performances in biology and chemistry.

CAPTION(S):

Holly Grob, 16, jumps for joy after receiving her A-level results at The King's Academy, in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Aug 24, 2016
Words:410
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