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Taking important exams is hard enough but sitting GCSEs knowing your mum has been diagnosed with a serious illness makes a stressful time even harder.

That's why twin students at the College had their commitment to their GCSE studies following their mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer rewarded with a special trip to London to attend a national award ceremony.

Josh and Jodie were nominated by their Year 11 Learning Manager Mr Ward to attend the PiXL Celebrating Success event in London.

The ceremony, held at Central Hall Westminster, was attended by students from across the country.

"Joshua and Jodie were nominated because of their exceptional exam results considering their difficult family circumstances," explained Mr Ward.

"We also wanted to recognise them for all the support they gave their mum after she was diagnosed with cancer."

Joshua, Jodie and their mum Tracey travelled with Mr Ward to London to attend the ceremony earlier this term.

"I was just over the moon when I heard they'd been nominated," said Mrs Archman, who received her diagnosis at around the same time as the twins were preparing to take their mock GCSEs.

"I don't think they revised as much as they should because it was a very difficult time for all of us.

Josh-Ar Jodie-Ar

"They were just so brilliant and cooked meals and did the shopping, so to get the grades they did is just wonderful."

Mrs Archman said she felt "honoured" that the 16-year-olds had been recognised.

"The whole family are just so proud of them and what they have achieved even with everything that was going on.

"Mr Ward has supported them every step of the way - and other teachers too, like Mr Towers, who arranged for Jodie to do some mindfulness sessions, I'm so grateful to them,” she said.

"I can't praise the school enough," added Mrs Archman – who is now in remission.

The twins have stayed on at Stoke Damerel Sixth Form where Jodie is studying Drama, Business Studies and Media Studies while Joshua will be taking A Levels in Maths, Photography and Physics.

Both of them plan to go on to university when they leave the College.

Plymouth Herald: Plymouth twins completed GCSEs while caring for their mum suffering from breast cancer

"It was hard but we just tried to look on the positive side of things," said Jodie.

"We were very grateful to be nominated - I was so excited and surprised, it's nice to be recognised for working hard."

As well as attending the ceremony the group went out for a celebratory breakfast after arriving in London and took a ride on the London Eye.

"It was lovely that our mum was there," said Joshua.

"I know she was really proud of us - it felt like a really special day."

Celebrating GCSE Results

Stoke Damerel News Archive: Academic Year 2015/16