Olympic hero Tom Daley goes back to school
British Olympic hero Tom Daley went from the diving board to the exam board today - after starting his first day back at school.
Tom, 14, joined classmates for his first day as a student in Year 10 of Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, Devon.
The teenager - who finished 7th in the men's 10m platform in Beijing - will now spend two years studying for nine GCSEs.
He began the day with a bowl of Kellogg's Cornflakes before putting on his uniform, packing his rucksack and getting a lift to school with dad Rob, 38.
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Tom had school assembly at 8.45am followed by a two-hour Spanish lesson before lunch and other classes in the afternoon.
School finished at 3.45pm before the teenager left for the day to attend diving training with his Plymouth Diving Club.
Tom said: ''It's a bit strange coming back to school but it will all be normal again soon. It's good to dive into my books again.
''My favourite subject is Spanish - don't know why but I really enjoy it. It's great to see some of my friends again.
''They all treat me as a normal boy and don't see me as anything different. I think being back in a normal environment is good for me.
''I'm hoping people at school will be nice and say 'well done' but there will probably be a few that will be horrible to me.
''It's going to be even harder this year to stay focused on my school work, but as long as I catch up while I'm away everything will be fine.
''People have been really supportive. I went to a Chinese restaurant this week and when we walked in everybody started clapping.''
School friend Sophie Lee, 14, said: ''Some people are treating him like he's a massive celebrity. You'd have thought Paris Hilton had just walked into the room.
''I've even seen kids in school asking for his autograph but to me he is a just a normal friend.''
Pal Harriet Jones, 14, added: ''It's just nice to see him really - we've missed Tom while he has been in Beijing. We've been friends for 11 years and I'm really proud of him.''
Tom's mum, Debbie, said slipping back into the school routine will help her son ''get back down to earth''.
She said: ''We've always taught Tom how important school is - but he loves it anyway. He soaks up knowledge like a sponge.
''Two days after we got back from Beijing I took Tom to get his new school blazer and trousers.
''But any trip into town takes ages now because he gets mobbed in the street. He was waiting outside one shop and a group of teenagers wanted to take him off for a milkshake.''
Tom's head teacher Katrina Borowski (corr) said the teenage diver is a ''super role model' for his classmates.
She said: ''It's great to have Tom back at the college because he is a super role model and a credit to the whole school. How many head teachers can say they have an Olympian in their school?
''We understand that he has two separate lives really because his world at school is completely different to his diving career. We try to respect that and provide him with a school life that is normal as possible.
''But we are still going to celebrate his return obviously, as he has done something very special.''
Tom's new Spanish teacher Caroline Grant said: ''He's very good at linguistics and he works very hard. I'm not just saying that because he's Tom Daley.
''He is in the top set and I think his travels help him with his foreign languages.''
Tom's dad, Rob, said his son has to concentrate on his school work to make sure he has a career he can turn to as well as diving.
He said: ''Tom's doing really well at school but it's so important that he keeps it up.
''All his teachers are amazed that he hasn't fallen behind with his school work with all the other commitments he has. But he isn't struggling at all.
''He learns a lot at school but he is also getting so much social and life experience from his travels as well.''
Tom is studying for nine GCSEs in his chosen subjects - Maths, English, Spanish, double science and an I.T course that is the equivalent of four GCSE.