It’s not just the school leavers celebrating GCSE success today.
At Stockton Riverside College, mums Kassandra, 32, Kirsty, 33, and Nichola, 29, all achieved the grades they needed to help towards future careers in teaching.
Each studying a degree in education and training at the college, alongside those all-important GCSEs, Kassandra said: “It has been hard work, especially studying a degree at the same time.”
But the effort paid off as the Eaglescliffe mum-of-two picked up a grade 4 in biology, as did Billingham mum-of-two Kirsty, while Yarm mum Nichola achieved a grade 6 in English and biology and a grade 5 in maths.
“It was such a relief to see that grade,” said Kassandra, who is now going on to teach at the college while working towards her PGCE.
Graduating later this year, she said: “I am going to bring my children to graduation so they can see why mum has been sat with her head in the computer for the past three years.”
Juggling a GCSE around the demands of a hectic family life, and studying a degree, Kirsty agreed, has been a challenge. But she explained it feels great to know she has been setting a good example for her children, aged 13 and 10.
“It is great for them to see me work hard and succeed. It makes me feel like a good role model.”
Plus, she added: “It is so important to show resilience.”
Describing it as the “icing on the cake”, that final grade was just what she needed to secure her place on a school centred initial teacher training placement.
While looking forward to completing her studies, mum-of-one Nichola was delighted to secure the GCSE trio; no mean feat with a two-year-old at home.
“Buzzing” to get the results she wanted, she too is now a step closer to her dream career as a primary school teacher.