Martin Price’s world was turned upside down when his mum Alison died.
Police broke the news to him in 2007 that she died of lung problems while on holiday with a friend in Greece.
Many students Martin’s age would struggle to cope dealing with such a terrible tragedy.
But he defeated all the odds and after years of hard work, he’s managed to pull off some great GCSE results.
The Charter Academy pupil, who lives in Portsea, Portsmouth, got As for English literature and language and maths and a C for science.
He also got BTECs in workskills and sport, each worth two GCSEs, and an OCR National in ICT, the equivalent to two GCSEs.
His dad David, who is deaf, has supported him with his studies every step of the way.
Speaking about how his mum’s death affected him, Martin, 16, said: ‘It changed my world.
‘But I thought, there was no point putting in all this effort only to give up at the last hurdle.
‘I hope she would be really proud of me.
‘My mum would put others before herself. She was hard-working and didn’t give up on anyone.’
Charter Academy has seen an 18 per cent increase in the number of students getting the gold standard of five or more A*-C grades including English and maths.
The City of Portsmouth Girls School also went up 18 per cent, and King Richard School in Paulsgrove went up seven per cent.
Across the city, results are marginally down on last year, reflecting the national picture.
Provisional results show that a total of 50 per cent of students got the gold standard, compared to 58 per cent across England.
Councillor Rob Wood, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for education and children, said: ‘Well done to pupils and teachers on all of their hard work in achieving these results.
‘These scores show that, on average, we are sustaining improvement, and that more schools are seeking to become good or outstanding.’
Meanwhile, Springfield School was buzzing yesterday as their students did better than expected.
Francesca Saleh, 15, from Drayton got seven A*s, two As and two Bs.
She said: ‘I did much better than I thought.
‘I revised really hard so I’m glad its paid off.’
Sara Spivey, headteacher, has been at Springfield since April and she was pleased with the results.
She added: ’Results day is a day of celebration and the school is buzzing with happy students.’
Students from the City of Portsmouth Boys School, in Hilsea, were also pleased with their results.
George Hughes, 16, from North End said: ‘I was happy with what I got.
‘It feels like a weight off my shoulders.’
King Richard School, in Paulsgrove, has improved on its results from last year.
Courtney Toms, 16, from Wymering, got two A*s, two As, seven Bs and two Cs.
She said: ‘I was really really happy with my results but also a little relieved.’
Priory pupil Gloria Truscott was thrilled with her results. The 16-year-old from Brompton Road got an A*, 7 As and a D* in a BTEC performing arts.
She said: ‘I was a bit nervous because I tried really hard in all the exams and I didn’t want to let anyone down.
‘I was curious to see what I had got. I’m really happy, I’m ecstatic.’
She will go on to study geography, English language, English literature and psychology at South Downs College.
At Mayfield School in North End, Alex Todd was the top performing student.
The 16-year-old got five A*s, five As and two Bs.
He said: ‘I’m really happy. It’s what I wanted to get.’
He will go on to study his A-levels at Portsmouth Grammar School through a scholarship.
Headteacher David Jeapes said: ‘We are very pleased with the results at Mayfield.
‘It’s a real testament to the hard work of our students, the commitment and support of our families and of course our teaching and support staff who have really come together to produce these great results.’
The City of Portsmouth Girls School saw 55 per cent of students achieve the gold standard.
The school will convert to an academy in September.
Executive principal Denise Shepherd, said: ‘We are delighted with our results and it is due to the hard work and dedication of our students and our staff that we have seen such an improvement and we are very proud of them.’
Pupil Megan Schofield, 16, from Clarendon Road, got five As, five Bs and a C.
She said: ‘I’m really pleased. I’m surprised to have done this well.’
Meanwhile, 16-year-old twins Charley and Jade Poolton picked up their GCSE results at Admiral Lord Nelson School.
Charley got five As, one A*, two Bs and her sister celebrated getting four A*s and five Bs.
‘We revised together, which helped a lot,’ Charley said.
‘I am really happy with our results.
‘I am pleasantly surprised about what I got.’
Headteacher Steven Labedz said: ‘It’s our second best ever results.
‘The students have worked really hard and we are really pleased.’
At Portsmouth High School, 99 per cent of students achieved the gold standard.
Headteacher Jane Prescott, said: ‘We are very proud of the girls who have achieved these wonderful results.’
For school by school stories, pictures and videos on GCSE results, follow the links here