A teenager with severe dyslexia is celebrating beating the odds to succeed in his GCSEs.

Will Gaskin, from Epping, collected six grade 5 and two grade 6 results, despite his additional learning needs.

He is now excited to stay on at the school’s sixth form to study sociology, media studies and applied law.

He said: “There are a lot of resources at Epping St John’s which were made available to me to even the playing field when it came to learning. I was able to type in class and use the laptop for my exams, rather than having to write things down. All of my teachers know about my dyslexia and positioned me at the front of class where I could better see the board or easily ask them for help if I didn’t understand.

“The main thing for me is getting the ideas out of my head and down on paper; that is what I find the hardest.

“My teachers have really helped me. They have given me the knowledge of what I need to do to make life easier on myself. I know what I need to do to help myself now. That has taken the pressure away and I don’t have to worry that I will fall behind.

“I have chosen to stay on at Epping St John’s Sixth Form, not only because I know the teachers and they know me, but because it’s just a really good school.”

While the pandemic and resulting partial school closures posed a challenge for most, Will continued to use the tools he was given to access learning in lockdown.

He said: “I knew what I had to do and just kept on with it at home. Online lessons were there and my teachers were very approachable during lockdown, so I was able to keep on learning. It was not really a challenge, just a different way of learning.

“I am looking forward to continuing to learn and seeing where it takes me.”

Serife Horner, assistant headteacher and special educational needs coordinator, said: “Will fully deserves the fantastic results he has achieved today.

“They are the result of his conscientious and tenacious approach to his studies, both at school and at home during the lockdown period - when he attended a full timetable of online lessons - and his teachers knowing exactly how to support his dyslexia.

“Will’s achievements showcase perfectly how potential can be unlocked given the right tools and support.

“I am delighted he will be continuing the next step of his journey with us at Epping St John’s Sixth Form.