Conall Peel has got almost perfect marks in his GCSE English Language exam - a huge achievement especially as he has had a long battle with autism.
Year 11 Shuttleworth College student Connall achieved 29/30 for his speaking and listening exam on the subject of North Korea - this is 20 per cent of his overall English GCSE mark.
It was the best speaking and listening exam I have heard in my years of teachingTeacher
It’s rare for a student to get such a high mark in a pressured situation and Conall (16) admitted it has been tough as he has had autism since an early age.
“We had to give a talk as part of our course work and then there was a discussion on the subject which would last altogether around 10 minutes,” said Conall.
“I once saw a programme on North Korea and since then I have been fascinated by it, their ideology, the leaders and the corruption there.
“It was nerve racking but I am a Jehovah’s Witness and, from an early age, they have taught us how to speak in public and I have spoken in front of 70-plus people before.
“I got through my exam and couldn’t believe it when I was just a mark from being perfect. I was so proud.”
Shuttleworth College’s Rebecca Roach, Lead Practitioner in English and Literacy, said: “Conall’s talk blew me away. It was amazing and I learnt a lot about North Korea!
“He did everything you are meant to do – he made eye contact, he gesticulated at the right times and he was eloquent in speech and in the discussion afterwards. It was the best speaking and listening exam I have heard in my years of teaching.”
Conall admits his autism – which affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people – can hinder him.
“I find it easier to talk to adults than people my age. It does affect me at school as I can find it tricky to communicate with people in my year group which obviously has its own problems.”
Conall is expected to get A*s and As in many of his GCSEs – and is well on his way to an A* in his English exam after his coursework success.
“I hope to get an A*s and As and then I want to do an apprenticeship either in ICT for North Lancs Training Group, or something with computers, as I will find it easier to be in an adult environment and I will just see where it takes me.
“I would also love to visit North Korea – it fascinates me.”