Barnard Castle School sixth former fits intensive studies around surgery

Barnard Castle School

Thursday, 17th August 2017

Barnard Castle School sixth former fits intensive studies around surgery

COURAGEOUS student secures A Level distinction

A COURAGEOUS student who dropped science to pursue her love of art, compressed a two year A Level course into one, secured a distinction despite undergoing knee surgery and remained a rock for her family in difficult times.

Genevieve Myhan took the brave decision to swap science for English language leaving her just a year to complete two years’ work.

The Barnard Castle School sixth former had to fit her intensive studies around painful knee surgery that left her on crutches for her finals.

Genevieve also proved to be a rock for her family when her brother Max was diagnosed with heart issues and had to undergo surgery.

But despite a difficult year she managed a D2 in her Pre-U examination, the equivalent of an A* as well as an A in her extended project qualification on facial reconstruction and a B in English.

Genevieve, of Darlington, will now read a degree in computer animation and visual effects at Teesside University and hopes one day to work in the animation industry for Disney Pixar.

The 18-year-old was born with patella femoral displacia which wasn’t diagnosed until recently after she had been trekking to Machu Picchu in Peru.

“I had to have surgery on one knee last year when I was taking by AS exams and then the second knee this year so I was on crutches for my finals,” she said. “It wasn’t so bad in the studio but the extra curricular activities were painful and I remember hobbling around art galleries using my umbrella as a walking stick.

“I had to give up an attempt to get my gold Duke of Edinburgh Award when I fell out of the minibus and slid down a hill on the expedition because of my knees. But it all came good in the end.

“I went through school thinking I should be a doctor and that I ought to study science but I feel so much happier now I am pursing my real passion for art.”

Deputy Head (Academic) Michael Truss said: “This is an incredible achievement, not just to secure a distinction in art, but to do this while overcoming surgery that left her on crutches.

“Her story exhibits clearly the value of students pursuing the subjects they love. We completely tore up her timetable and started again from scratch. It was such a courageous decision to concentrate on subjects for which she has such passion and ability.”

The school enjoyed strong results with more than half of students awarded A*-B grades.

Fellow sixth former Sam Farquar, 18, ended his time at Barnard Castle School on a high note – with a Newcastle Cathedral scholarship.

A boarding student, of Durham, Sam will read linguistics at Newcastle University after securing A* in music, and As in English and Maths.

He has been a central figure in the school choir, which performed to packed audiences at the Bowes Museum and the School Chapel as well as Evensong in Durham Cathedral.

“I have been interested in securing a scholarship for a long time,” he said.

“I was invited to meet the cathedral’s director of music and thought I was just going for a chat. I ended up singing and he offered me the scholarship there and then, which was great. It takes a great deal of weight off my shoulders and I’m looking forward to taking part in several services a week.

“I am considering careers in either teaching or journalism but, whichever I choose, music will remain an important part of my life.”

Barnard Castle School psychology student Kieran Lewis secured a coveted place at Cambridge at a time witnessing the most significant shift in popular thinking for generations.

After being awarded three A*s in maths, biology and extended project and the top Pre-U grade of D1 in physics, he will read psychological and behavioural science at Corpus Christi College, as the world begins a period of radical change.

“I’m thrilled to have secured my grades and the course is going to be incredible,” said the 18-year-old sixth former, of Gainford. “We are seeing the power of the populace coming out through social media, the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump. We haven’t seen such a mobilisation of the masses since the Second World War.

“The Trump presidency is fascinating, as is the impact of the Brexit referendum, where people could appear to have voted against their traditional interests.”

Kieran hopes one day to work in the field of activism and reducing discrimination.