Croydon student defies odds to record top exam grades
A teenager who could not speak a word of English five years ago is celebrating getting straight As in 12 GCSEs.
Andriana Omelyanovska, head girl at Thomas More Catholic School, achieved three A*s and nine A grades.
When the 16-year-old moved to Addiscombe from the Ukraine in 2007 aged 11, she could not speak English.
She said: “I went to primary school for four months and I couldn’t speak a word of English. I could understand what was going on and they made it as simple as possible to help me.
“I used to ask my friends to correct me all the time when I said things wrong.”
Speaking of her results, Andriana said: “I am so happy with them. I did a lot of revision because my English is not perfect, there are still things I don’t know.
“But I am more nervous when I speak to someone than when I write.”
Andriana, who can speak three languages, is going on to study physics, maths, biology and chemistry at A-level.
Results across the borough were above the national average, with 63.9 per cent of pupils achieving five A*-C grades, an improvement of 2.9 per cent on last year.
This is against a national drop of 0.4 per cent and is Croydon’s ninth consecutive year of improvement.
Schools with the best improvements are the Oasis Academies in Coulsdon and Shirley Park, Thomas More and Addington High School.
Thomas More saw a substantial increase.
Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “Good GCSE grades are the first big hurdle that young people need to get over if they want to move on to further education and professional careers.
“I am delighted that these results show that both pupils and staff at all of our schools have worked hard over recent years to ensure there is a bright future ahead for the majority of those who want to move on to A-levels, university and beyond.
“And the fact that we have outperformed much of the country is something to be genuinely proud of.”