Ethiopian refugee is awarded six As and two Bs, while 10-year-old space nut is delighted with a B in astronomy. An Ethiopian schoolgirl who lived in fear of being deported from the UK has thanked the community who fought for her to stay after she achieved six As and two Bs in her GCSEs.
Bethlehem Abate – known as Betty – was granted permission to stay in the UK with her mother in 2009 after being threatened with deportation. They left Ethiopia in 2004, fleeing domestic violence.
Twice, in September 2008 and January 2009, immigration officers raided their home, and on the last occasion officials were planning to put them on a plane to Addis Ababa. They spent five days in Yarls Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire awaiting deportation.
“It was a very difficult time for me and my mum and I don’t know how we would have coped if it hadn’t been for the support we had. We can now stay in the UK and I can go on to get a job and live here permanently,” Betty said.
She plans to celebrate with friends and is looking forward to continuing her education at Bruntcliffe high school in Leeds, where she will study chemistry, biology, maths and psychology.
“I’m very excited for the future and I hope to go on to university after I finish my A-levels,” she said.
• A 10-year-old boy who hopes to work for Nasa is “over the moon” after achieving a B grade in GCSE astronomy. Monty Rix, from St Austell in Cornwall, spent two hours each week studying for the exam while in year 5 at Pondhu primary school.
“The exam hall was a bit scary, but I just put my head down and got on with it,” he said. “Astronomy is just so fascinating. There is always something new and exciting happening. Even this week, scientists in Chile saw a star being born 1,400 light years away.”
Monty became interested in astronomy “as soon as he could stand”. His father, Simon Rix, 42, has a degree in astronomy and physics from University College, London. Monty said that if he does not go on to work for Nasa, he would like to follow in the footsteps of Brian Cox, the science broadcaster.
• A 16-year-old from Winchester in Hampshire has gained 11 A*s in her GCSEs as well as an A at AS-level in geography and full marks in her GCSEs in Spanish and business studies.
“I have been having recurring dreams that I got Ds and then I had dreams I got 11A*s,” said Amelia Wrigley, who is considering a career in journalism.
She attended the state-run Kings’ school in Winchester and will go on to study A-levels in English literature, philosophy, biology, Latin and Spanish.