GCSE results day isn’t just about the very highest achievers.

There are different expectations on different students as well as their respective schools.

Exam success comes easy to some youngsters and not as easily to others.

Across Colchester, hundreds of students have overcome differing degrees of adversity to achieve results which they should all be proud to achieve.

James Theobald is one of those students.

The 16-year-old has special educational needs as he has autism spectrum disorder.

This affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour as well as his studies at St Helena School.

But yesterday he picked up his GCSE grades, passing all of his subjects bar one.

James, who lives in Colchester, said: “The process of doing exams is difficult for me.

“I also suffer from anxiety. I repeatedly have to tell myself things are OK or stop panicking.

“I have been working hard after school and in revision sessions.

“I did better than expected in most subjects.

“It was a lot of hard work and I emphasise the words ‘a lot’.”

When he opened his envelope, his grades were three 5 grades, three 4s, one 8, a 6, a 3 and a distinction in creative Imedia.

James said: “My results were all good except Maths which it looks like I have to resit.

“I am happy but a bit disappointed about my Maths grade because I thought I had done better.

“But it does not matter too much because I can resit it and look to get a higher grade next time.”

James is now going on to study at Colchester Sixth Form College, where he will be taking Photography, German and hopefully Computer Science.

German is the subject in which he got his highest grade, an 8, equivalent to an A*, but his 6 in Photography, an old B, will also stand him in good stead for his further studies.

He loves languages and cannot wait to continue his studies in German from September.

James said: “I am really not sure why I am so good at German, no-one in my family is German.

“I do spent a lot of my spare time learning it because I love it.

“I asked my mum what she thought and she said it was a bit like computer programming and I know how the word order is and how to form sentences.”