TEARS Of JOY: Lisa Slater couldn’t hold back the tears of joy when son Joel, 16, discovered his results mean he can pursue his dream of becoming a farmer
TEARS Of JOY: Lisa Slater couldn’t hold back the tears of joy when son Joel, 16, discovered his results mean he can pursue his dream of becoming a farmer

Staindrop Academy GCSEs
IT was party time at Staindrop as students celebrated their GCSE results with a prom in a marquee on the school grounds.
It allowed staff to show their appreciation for the hard work of pupils in difficult circumstances that saw a mix of home-learning and in-school lessons.
Kelvin Simpson, executive head teacher, said: “The students achieved excellent results that reflected the hard work and dedication of both students and staff throughout their five years at the school.”
Paul Marwood, assistant head, said: “It’s been a really challenging last year, but we have adapted and the children have come through it well. The school community has come together really well.”
He added: “It was lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves and it was a really good end to a difficult time.”
Mr Simpson, added: “The young adults leaving school are ready, able and qualified to achieve their aspirations. They leave the school as valued members of the community. We are proud of them all.”
Paul Cowen, head of school, said: “Staindrop students leave with more than a set of grades, but as well-rounded young adults. We are incredibly proud of the achievements of every student.”
Head girl Keira Chippendale, from Cockfield, had every reason to celebrate, achieving the top grade in all of her subjects.
The shocked 16-year-old achieved 9s across the board as well as two distinction stars and one distinction in combined science, English literature, language, geography, maths, media studies, BTEC engineering, BTEC Sport and creative media.
She intends to study biology and maths at Teesdale School sixth form to stand her in good stead for studying micro-biology at university.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it at first. I want to study micro-biology as my dad works in that field and I find it really interesting. It’s one of my favourite subjects.”
Joel Slater, 16, from St Helen Auckland, was delighted with his results which means he is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a farmer, much to the delight of mum Lisa, who couldn’t hold back the tears of joy.
He said: “I’ve got what I needed to be able to do what I want now. I’m going into farming and have a placement at Houghall College.
“I’ve had chickens since I was little and I was always on the allotment. It is my dream to have my own farm one day.”
Jacqueline Gilbey was also reduced to tears when daughter Tegan, 16, revealed her results She said: “We’re really pleased. It’s been a difficult 18 months for everybody to do online learning and come back into school to have the assessments. We couldn’t be any prouder.”
Joseph Toole, from Bishop Auckland, said the hard work had paid off, achieving top grades in four of his subjects and 7s and 8s in the rest. He intends to take A levels in English literature, history and German at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form, in Darlington.
Natalie Jameson, from Evenwood, is hoping to go into teaching and will be studying maths, physics and sociology, also at QE, after passing all her subjects, three of which with level two distinctions.
Aspiring engineer Finlay Brown, from Staindrop, couldn’t have been happier with his results which included level two distinctions in BTEC engineering and creative media. He achieved top grades in combined science, English literature, language, design technology, geography, and maths as well as a 7 in German.
The 16-year-old, who volunteers at Thorpe Light Railway, near Whorlton, has been helping his father Andy restore a steam engine over the last year, will be studying engineering at UTC, in Newton Aycliffe.
He said: “I’m just interested in making things, doing things properly. I think there is too much plastic fantastic in the world.”