A young athlete has achieved top GCSE results as well as being named a heptathlon champion for the third year.

Maltings Academy student Jess Hopkins is celebrating after being awarded two grade eights, three grade sevens, three at grade six and two A* grades.

The teenager has also been named the under 17 heptathlon champion for the third year running.

She said: “I feel fabulous. I literally could not be happier.

“The school has been really supportive.

"They have put on lots of after-school sessions, as well as opening up before school which meant it could fit around my sport.

"It could have been a lot more difficult to balance everything, but the school was amazing with helping me and making sure sure I had everything I needed.”

Jess will be returning to Witham Sixth Form to study PE, maths, finance and physics with an open mind about her future.

She added: “I’m not sure what I want to do in the future just yet. I want to keep on with the athletics and see how far I can go with it, for as long as I can.

"But I’m definitely still looking for a plan B, which is why I’ve picked quite open subjects to study at A level.”

Her dad, Simon Hopkins, could not be more proud.

He said: “We are over-the-moon. I have no idea how she does it.

"She studied so hard throughout her exams; it has been an easy ride for us.

"She just put her mind to it and did it. Sport teaches a lot of discipline like that.

“We have always told her, school comes first before sport, so we have always made sure she does her studying, goes to athletics and does more studying. We have not had to pressure her one little bit.”