‘Exam stress’ turns out to be heart condition

WHEN Rosie Gwyther became ill at school just before her mock exams, she thought it was stress – but it turned out to be an undiagnosed heart condition.

The student at Montpelier High School’s co-educational sixth form V6 had to undergo two operations before her A-levels, the first formal exams she had ever taken.

She emerged with an A in Sociology,  Bs in Psychology and Geography and A* in her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and is off t0 the University of Gloucestershire to train as a primary school teacher. 

Rosie said: “I thought it was just a panic attack but my heart went crazy and I had to be rushed from school to the Bristol Heart Institute. It was quite scary. My teachers have been absolutely amazing in supporting me.”

Rosie’s mum Kate Gwyther said the family had had no idea about the heart condition.

“We are beyond proud of her. Her resilience and determination has not faltered throughout the two years. We really did not know what to expect for her results because she had not sat exams before but she has done brilliantly.’

Shayni Wickmaratne, from Shirehampton, was another student who battled health problems during her studies. A lifelong asthma sufferer, she experienced lung problems after having Covid and missed several months of her first year at V6, which she joined from St Bede’s Catholic College.

Animal lover Shayni achieved A grades in Maths and Biololgy and a B in Chemistry and will study Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol.

Malou Brown, who achieved A grades in History, Politics and Spanish, will read Law at the University of Oxford. Malou, from Easton, who joined MHS in Year 9, said: “It has been hard because of all the different disruptions but I had great teachers who helped me through. I have always wanted to study Law and I am looking forward to starting at Mansfield College.”  

More than one in five grades awarded at MHS/V6 was an A or A*, while overall outcomes were broadly in line with 2019, the last pre-Covid figures.

Other notable successes include:  Shumaila Muhammad (A*A*A); Philomena Murray (A*A*A);   Abbie Clark (A*A*B);  Maddie Britton (A*AAA);  Rosa Bridges (A*AA) ; Farida Awil (AAB); Francesca Brocklebank (AAB);  Nell Eustace (AAB); Maryam Hamrouni (AB,Distinction); Hazel Porter (AAB); Anya Reid (AAB). 

Caroline McClean, Vice Principal and Head of Sixth Form, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating the excellent achievements of our students today, many of whom have secured university places at impressive destinations. Their attainment is especially impressive as a cohort who experienced considerable disruption to their learning due to Covid and did not sit formal GCSE examinations. I am equally proud of those students who have made considerable progress in the sixth form, some of them in the face of adversity.”