GCSE results: 38-year-old Pontypool mum achieves top grades at the school where she works

Bethan Cayford will now be able to do a PGCE to train as a teacher after getting GCSEs in English and Maths. Credit: Media Wales

A 38-year-old mum is "chuffed to bits" after achieving top GCSE grades at the school where she works.

Amongst those nervously awaiting their grades on Thursday morning was Bethan Cayford from Pontyclun, who studied alongside pupils at the school where she has worked for the past 15 years.

Having passed her two exams with flying colours - getting an A* in English and a B in Maths - Bethan will now be able to do a PGCE to train as a teacher, having not sat her GCSEs when she was at school.

She collected her grades from Y Pant school in Pontyclun, where she has worked as a technician for more than a decade, after taking her daughter Brooke to pick up her own results.

Brooke also picked up impressive marks, including two A*s.

Having taught occasional classes whilst working at Y Pant, Bethan decided she wanted to become a teacher and started a course with the Open University - but she needed GCSEs in English and Maths to make her dream a reality.

Describing herself as "the oldest student ever," Bethan admitted she "never thought it [getting her GCSEs] would happen."

Talking about being older than most students she said: "I thought, I need to do this to prove it to myself but also get qualified."

Learning in classes alongside the pupils she sometimes taught, she said: “I did my coursework with the kids and sat my exams with the kids.

"They found it a bit shocking but it was good because I could tell them to get it done while they were in school, and also it makes you more sympathetic to what they are going through - they were great."You definitely relate to them more because you can see exactly what they're going through. And I was able to talk to the other teachers about that as well.

"It is stressful, and I just did what I could. I never really thought I would get here but here we are."

She added: "It's obviously been a challenge but it's something I've wanted to do. I had to do revision in the evenings and at weekends so I'm chuffed to bits that I've got the grades.

"I don't think it's hit me properly yet."

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