A young artist is painting a picture of sheer happiness after overcoming major surgery to secure top GCSE results.

Elisha Gibson, a student at Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy in Stockton, was celebrating yesterday after gaining an 8 and eight 9s, including fine art.

She missed eight weeks of school recovering from spinal surgery to help her scoliosis and only returned to the classroom part-time while recuperating.

The 16-year-old Dr Who fan, whose work includes a portrait of David Tennant, is also a keen scientist and now faces the dilemma of which path to follow.

“I was hoping to do well, but didn’t expect to do this well,” said Elisha, who is planning to study art, maths and possibly physics or biology. “It took a lot of effort to catch up on the work that I had missed, but it was worth it.

“I am really undecided on which subject to study at a higher level. I’m leaning slightly towards science at university, but I do really love art. I have always enjoyed painting, in oil or acrylics, but I really improved during the lockdown and my house is now full of work.

“I  mainly paint for friends and family. I’ve just finished a floral piece for one of my teachers, and I would love to stage an exhibition one day. I applied to a gallery in London and am waiting to hear back.”

[caption id="attachment_6770" align="alignnone" width="1565"] Elisha[/caption]

The success continued for other students with Laura Konopka gaining a 9, two 8s and four 7s, Joseph Wlodarczyk, who secured a 9 in maths as well as six 8s and two 7s and Caroline Cummings, who gained two 9s, an 8 and five 7s.

Headteacher Mo Wilkinson said: “We are really proud of all our pupils and the efforts they have put in. They have worked incredibly hard and persevered, which has produced a set of results which will allow them to succeed in their future endeavours. I would also like to thank staff for their relentless dedication and drive to secure success for their pupils.”