Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 16:04 UK

Sky's the limit for A* GCSE twins

Twins Lucy and Olivia Topham
Twins Lucy and Olivia Topham got 19A*s between them

The sky's the limit for twin sisters Lucy and Olivia Topham who chalked up 19 A*s at GCSE.

Lucy, from Church High School in Newcastle, who got 9A*s and one A, wants to be an RAF pilot after going to study engineering at university.

Her sister, Olivia, who netted 10 A*s, is planning to study medicine and become a doctor.

Another set of twins, Sophie and Xavier Edmonds-Allen from York are celebrating 22 top grade GCSEs between them.

I am really shocked and surprised
Unnat Krishna

Both students at Bootham School in York, they have a combined total of 17 A* GCSEs and five grade As.

The 16-year-olds from York put their double success partly down to self-motivation and encouragement from parents but also said it was because studying for their GCSEs had been "fun".

Meanwhile star pupil Unnat Krishna said he shocked at achieving 16A*s.

Unnat, a pupil at King Edward VI Five Ways School in Bartley Green, Birmingham, said: "I cannot quite describe how I feel," he said. "I am really shocked and surprised.

"I thought I would get about 10 or 11 A*s but I never expected 16.

"I did work hard - I am utterly amazed."

Unnat took 14 GCSEs and an AS Level, which is the equivalent of two GCSEs. His results are believed to be a school record.

'Amazing experience'

A teenager is already on her way to becoming a vet after helping to deliver two foals as well as gain a string of top GCSEs.

Samantha Crumpton, 16, from Failand, in Bristol, is a British eventing competitor and is now riding high having achieved four A* grades, four As and one B grade.

Three years ago, while working at a stud farm, Samantha found herself alone with a pregnant mare who went into labour.

I am really pleased with my results
Marcus Hayward
21-year-old returnee to education

The Badminton School student said: "It was an amazing experience. Then a few years later at home one of our horses arrived in foal, but because I had done it before I was more confident about dealing with it," she said.

"I want to be a vet so I have to get straight As in my A-levels now, which is scary."

Among the less obvious successes of the day was 21-year-old Marcus Hayward of Penhill, Swindon, who left his primary school aged 10 because of bullying.

When he tried to return to secondary school at 14, he found it difficult to adjust and continued to be bullied so he left after six months.

But Mr Hayward decided to try again and enrolled at New College in Swindon at the age of 18 when he started a Level 1 childcare course followed by a Level 2 Diploma.

He also did his GCSEs in one year and was rewarded today with four C grades in English, maths, science and sociology. He now plans to become a primary school teacher.

"I am really pleased with my results. They are better than I expected but I've got a long way to go - about another five years in education," he said.

"I was never offered home schooling when I was a kid and I was sort of forgotten about."

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