You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Three years ago she couldn't speak English but now Victoria is a top GCSE student

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 22/08/2019 Jonathan Humphries
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Some remarkable success stories emerged from students collecting their GCSE results in Kowsley - including a Polish teenager who learned English and passed her exams in just three years.

Across Knowsley Lord Derby Academy in Huyton achieved a 9% point increase on last year’s results, while Kirkby High achieved a 3% rise.

St Edmund Arrowsmith in Whiston was also celebrating an increase in performance , with the number of pupils gaining a Grade 4 and above in both English and Maths rising 1.5% points.

Victoria Zienkiewicz, a pupil at Lord Derby, came to the UK from her home near the border between Poland and Russia with her mum Iwona.

The 16-year-old told the ECHO she could not speak a word of English, but with the help of Polish speaking staff at the school is now fluent and has achieved between grades 4-6 in the sciences, history, French, Polish and drama.

  a person standing in front of a building: Lord Derby Academy student Victoria Zienkiewicz, 16, who only moved to the UK 3 years ago from Poland © Liverpool Echo Lord Derby Academy student Victoria Zienkiewicz, 16, who only moved to the UK 3 years ago from Poland

She said: "I could not speak English, but at the school they had a Polish teacher and I had lots of lessons with him.

"It was really hard but I am happy with my grades."

Another Lord Derby success story came via youngest pupil in the year Megan Hindley, who started school life frustrated and struggling to keep up due to a form of dyslexia.

But with extra support from teachers and a dedicated 'scribe', a member of staff who helps Megan write what she wants to say, Megan scored top marks including a Grade 7 in food and nutrition and a 6 in maths.

She told the ECHO: "I am so happy and amazed with what I have got, I never thought I could get what I have achieved. I was overwhelmed, I cried because I was so happy with myself.

a group of people around each other: The emotional moment Lord Derby Academy Student Megan Hindley, 15, got her GCSE results with mum Sarah Hindley and dad John Hindley © Lord Derby Academy The emotional moment Lord Derby Academy Student Megan Hindley, 15, got her GCSE results with mum Sarah Hindley and dad John Hindley

"I dreamed I could get it and now it's a reality.

"I am dyslexic, I was diagnosed in year 4 at primary school, and after being let down so many times they have pushed me to be able get what I have got today.

"The support I was given (by staff) was amazing, it was outstanding the effort that they put in; staying after school to help me with things I didn't understand, which I never had previously, was amazing."

Megan's proud mum, Sarah Hindley, said her daughter had struggled in primary school and had her old teacher had used techniques including using a timer to try and focus Megan.

However her dyslexia meant she just felt more pressurised and increasingly frustrated.

two men in a room: Lord Derby Academy Student Megan Hindley, 15, with mum Sarah Hindley and dad John Hindley © Liverpool Echo Lord Derby Academy Student Megan Hindley, 15, with mum Sarah Hindley and dad John Hindley

She said: "She came here in Year 7 and from the point she arrived I will gush about this school. it has been terrific.

"She left primary school having failed her SATS. We came her and as parents you have to be quite persistent. We asked the school for as much support as Megan could have and they have more than fulfilled our brief."

The school's top performer was Charlie Alexander, 16, who pulled off a remarkable seven Grade 9s, the highest possible mark, as well as two Grade 8s.

Charlie, from West Derby, was always naturally gifted but struggled with a lack of motivation in his earlier school years.

He said: "At the time it was just like I was not really that bothered about school. I didn't like homework and I didn't really enjoy school so I messed about a lot.

a person with collar shirt: Charlie Alexander, 16, the top achiever at Lord Derby Academy in Huyton with GCSE grades among the highest in the country © Liverpool Echo Charlie Alexander, 16, the top achiever at Lord Derby Academy in Huyton with GCSE grades among the highest in the country

"But around year 10 I got a lot more interested. They made things like science and maths interesting."

Head teacher at Lord Derby Academy, Victoria Gowan, said: "We are delighted that the 2019 GCSE results reflected hard work, dedication and ambition of our pupils and the whole school community."

Ms Gowan said the school had seen an increase in "all key headline progress and attainment measures" and said the results included the highest proportion of pupils achieving top grades in school history.

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: "My congratulations to all those pupils picking up their GCSE results today.

"It is really encouraging to see that there are some fantastic success stories to celebrate across Knowsley today, with schools like Lord Derby academy seeing a significant rise in performance across the board.

"We know that there is still work to do across the borough to ensure that all pupils get the grades they are capable of achieving. Everyone involved in education in Knowsley is fully focused on this and the council will continue to work with all secondary schools to ensure the high standards we demand are met as rapidly as possible."

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon