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Young Citizen: Ilford student with learning difficulties 'defies all odds' in GCSE exams

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 August 2019

Teachers at Caterham High School are very proud of Liam Harris, who has learning difficulties, and his GCSE results. Picture: Tom Barnes

Teachers at Caterham High School are very proud of Liam Harris, who has learning difficulties, and his GCSE results. Picture: Tom Barnes

Archant

A student with learning difficulties who defied the odds by scoring above and beyond his and his teacher's expectations in his GCSE exams is this week's Recorder/Rotary Young Citizen nominee.

Young Citizen Awards has launched again for 2019.Young Citizen Awards has launched again for 2019.

Liam Harris, 16, a Caterham High School student, scored passes of 4 or above in most of his exams, including maths which he was not going to take because thought he wouldn't pass.

Liam, of Ilford, said he is now set to pursue his dreams of becoming an animator, starting by studying animation at Barking and Dagenham College from September.

"I received a lot of help over the years from special educational needs staff and I couldn't have done it without them," he said.

"We were so convinced that I wasn't going to get a maths GCSE, I sat an alternative exam.

Teachers at Caterham High School are very proud of Liam Harris, who has learning difficulties, and his GCSE results. Picture: Tom BarnesTeachers at Caterham High School are very proud of Liam Harris, who has learning difficulties, and his GCSE results. Picture: Tom Barnes

"But I was so shocked to see that I actually achieved a Grade 4 in maths - meaning I passed it thanks to my hard work.

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"We battled through and I can't thank the support staff enough at the school as they provided me with help even when I said I didn't need it.

"I'm now really looking forward to heading to college to draw and study animation. It's what I have always wanted to do."

Cathy O'Connor, Liam's learning support assistant, said she couldn't be prouder of Liam.

She said: "We battled to get Liam to where he is and we are so proud. He really is such a great example of how hard work pays off."

The Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough, run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club.

A monthly winner will be chosen from the nominees, the finalists will be invited to the Mayor's Community Awards night in March and the overall winner will be announced.

The winner will receive £100 from Redbridge Rotary Club and will, along with the runner-up, go through to the national Young Citizens final run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing imogen.braddick@archant.co.uk.

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