From Dagenham to Japan

A GIRL who taught herself Japanese said konnichiwa to the highest possible grade in her GCSE exam – an A*. Rebecca Paterson, 16, was the only student at Sydney Russell School in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, to take on the complex foreign language. Each ye

A GIRL who taught herself Japanese said "konnichiwa" to the highest possible grade in her GCSE exam - an A*.

Rebecca Paterson, 16, was the only student at Sydney Russell School in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, to take on the complex foreign language.

Each year only 300 pupils across the country tackle Japanese at GCSE, and many of them hail from the country or have family from there.

Rebecca, however, taught herself to read, speak and write in the language and studied for her exam all on her own.

Deputy head teacher Michael Salvage said: "Rebecca has done incredibly well.

"Many pupils who take the Japanese GCSE are Japanese and want to pick up an extra grade.

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"But Rebecca took it on all by herself and got the highest possible mark.