A TEEN who underwent several eye surgeries during his A-level studies.

Benji Appleby achieved an A* in maths and A grades in biology and physics, and is taking up a place at Durham University to study engineering.

Benji said: “I had separate operations on my eyes in Year 12 and Year 13 meaning I had to take time off in both academic years to recover. I couldn’t see properly for a period of time, which made studying challenging and I had to get enlarged papers. I am very relieved and really happy with my results. I am extremely appreciative of the help I have received throughout my seven years at Richmond School, which has been there whenever I needed it. I must single out Mrs Harrison, my physics teacher, for her ongoing support and for her belief in me.”

As a Year 12 student, Benji was a key member of the Brilliant Club which involved a four-month study programme specifically targeted to increase the number of pupils from state schools accessing top universities. Benji was selected for the scheme and worked with a Phd student on a research project.

Benji has a keen interest in engineering and chose Durham University as it offers a varied course which allows students to study a broad range of topics and then specialise in certain areas in the third year.

Jenna Potter, headteacher, said: "Benji has astounded us with his achievements. He has shown such resilience through what have been quite challenging times."