16-year-old Hungarian student Kristóf Kökösi has been hailed as a role model in the British press for academic excellence after receiving an A* English Literature GCSE, the British equivalent of a matriculation certificate, despite arriving in the country two years ago speaking hardly any English.
The teenager, who studies at Ark Elvin Academy in Wembley, London and gained A* grades in English literature, maths and geography, as well as three more As, a B and two Cs, says his teachers helped by staying behind with him to improve his learning, which has inspired him to take up teaching as a career himself.
Recalling his two years of “extra-hard” work since arriving to the UK, he told the newspaper that he “started by memorising 30 to 40 words each day and practised speaking and writing because it wasn’t easy”, adding that he occasionally stayed at school until 7 pm in the second year.
92 per cent of the multi-cultural school’s students are of minority ethnic origin, 36% qualify for free school meals and over 50 different languages are spoken by pupils.
Watch ITV’s report featuring fellow Hungarian Ms. Győrfi, who has become the face of a phenomenon that is seeing London secondary schools’ academic standards improve as a result of immigrant pupils’ higher levels of ambition, aspiration and punctuality: