A-grade Bridgwater gran speaks after GCSE joy

Proud Val with her certificates

Proud Val with her certificates Buy this photo

First published in Bridgwater Area News by

WORRYING about getting an ‘A’ in your GCSE might sound like something for teenagers but that’s what was on the mind of one 79-year-old this week.

Grandmother Val Bannister, of Cannington, was alongside students at Chilton Trinity Technology College last week nervously waiting to collect her grade.

The pensioner said she was ‘thrilled’ to achieve an ‘A’ in the additional science course she had been studying on Tuesday afternoons.

She told the Mercury: “It’s important to keep the mind active.

“Since I turned 70 I’ve taken several A-levels and GCSEs because I enjoy the education.

“Going to classes is great fun and a chance to meet new people.”

The grandmother-of-six said: “It was great fun going into the hall alongside all the youngsters. I could see them all whispering ‘who’s that really old lady?’ to each other.

“The only problem was my eyesight isn’t good enough for me to copy their work.”

Val’s 15-year-old grandson, Ollie Bannister, was also among those collecting results at Chilton Trinity on Thursday (August 23).

Val added: “Fortunately for him we weren’t in the same exam or classes. I think he finds it quite embarrassing that his Gran was studying at his school.”

Val, who also achieved eight O-levels in the 1950s, spent the first part of her career working with unruly teenagers before completing a law degree in her 50s and working as an insurance lawyer.

Despite her latest GCSE success, Val says she is not planning to take any more exams as she approaches her 80th birthday.

She said: “I think I have studied everything I want to study now.

“The only thing left is a language but I’ve always been rotten at them.

“I would encourage any adult who fancies a challenge to sign up though, it is never too late to learn.”

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