Potters Bar ESC celebrates GCSEs for OAPs!

THEY say you’re never too old to learn – and these three ladies are living proof.

Pensioners Joan Hobden, Olive Baker and Sylvia Wynnick are celebrating becoming some of the oldest people in the country to gain a GCSE exam qualification.

All three have passed their art exam – normally taken by 15 and 16 year olds – after taking classes at The Park Education Support Centre (ESC) in High Street.

The three spent one afternoon a week for a whole year building their portfolio before sitting their final exams, and were rewarded this week when they received their GCSE certificates.

“I’m so pleased,” said Olive, 82, from Goodacre Close, who achieved a C grade.


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“I’ve never done anything like this before.

“The war broke out when I was 10 and I never went to school much after that.

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“I don’t even think you had O-levels back then.

“I feel like I’ve really achieved something all these years.”

Sylvia, 73, from Southgate, said she was “amazed”.

“Without the school’s encouragement, I wouldn’t have done it,” she added.

And Joan, 77, from Barnet said: “It took a lot of work and a lot of time, but I’m very pleased at the end.”

Sara Johnson, headteacher of The Park ESC, said: “Part of our remit as an extended education support centre is to include and support the local community.

“All three had an interest in art before they started – this was about being able to access a teacher to move their skills onwards.

“I think they’ve done really well. They’re very, very chuffed with their achievement and we’re pleased for them.”

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