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An Arrowtown School pupil was celebrating this week after gaining the top English score in University of Canterbury national examinations. Isabelle Mahoney has received a distinction for her English paper, which covered comprehension, writing and spelling.
The Year 8 pupil, who was shocked and surprised, said she was helped in preparing for the exam by her love of reading.
The 12-year-old does not yet have a favourite author, but had just finished reading Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent series.
"I called my parents after assembly and they said it was amazing and they knew I could do it," Isabelle said.
Ten other pupils were recognised for excellence in the Canterbury examinations.
Eight also qualified for the University of Otago Problem Solving Challenge national finals.
Teacher Kelly Scoles said the youngsters had each worked hard to qualify.
She believed hundreds of schools across the country would have entered.
"They are really motivated students and it’s quite prestigious to make the national finals."