Positive thinking behind ambitious Anastasia's GCSE success

AN ambitious student told how she was determined to remain positive after Covid to achieve the GCSE results which bring her one step closer to her dream.

Ripon Grammar School student Anastasia Bell hopes to study religion at the University of Cambridge following A-levels in religious studies, politics, German and chemistry.

The 16-year-old, from Thirsk, who achieved seven grade 9s, three 8s, one 7 and one 6, said: “I’m just so pleased all my hard work over the past two years has amounted to such a fantastic selection of results.”

She explained: “I fell in love with the city of Cambridge during a visit last year and Cambridge is the leading university in the country for religious studies. Religion is a deeply important part of everyday life and goes hand-in-hand with the development of society.”

A talented singer and martial artist, she added: “This GCSE period has been hard for many students. Not only have we had the stress of exams but the lasting impact of Covid, making it tough for many.

“Despite this though, I, along with others, have been able to maintain a positive attitude. During this period, I have been working hard on my music, having achieved both Grade 5 in piano and Grades 5 and 6 in singing over the GCSE years.

“I have also been a part of the school’s chamber choir, giving me opportunities like singing at the Harrogate Proms concert have also been a guest singer for the Skelldale Singers in Ripon on more than one occasion.

“I have also taken part in judo competitions over the past two years, earning two golds and a silver medal.

“I am very pleased with how these past two years have gone and I'm excited to see what the next two hold!"

After university, she would like to work for a charity or enter the world of law or politics.