Two pupils who started secondary school speaking barely any English have smashed their GCSEs.

Muhammad and Michelle achieved top grades after sitting the exams at Capital City Academy, in Doyle Gardens,Willesden.

Muhammad Romaan joined part way through Year 7 having come straight from Pakistan and speaking no English.

He achieved a 9, four 8s, four 7s and a Distinction.

Michelle Zambrano Veloz joined at the start of Year 9 from Spain also with only very basic English.

She achieved a 9, three 8s, two 7s, three 6s and a Distinction.

A spokesperson for the school said however daunting arriving at the school with a linguistic disadvantage must have been, they both embraced the new experience and challenge.

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) department provided them with support and they were quickly able to join classes and engage with their teachers and subjects.

Both had additional interests in sport and took part in extra-curricular sessions in cricket, football and basketball, which Michelle said particularly helped her confidence and her language skills.

The pair also had the challenge of understanding the British education system and getting used to the structure and how the exams process works.

Other high scorers in the year 11 cohort were Denisa Giuran who received nine 9s and a Distinction, Gerssa Bushaj achieved seven 9s,an 8 and a Distinction*

Pia Dizon received two 9s,three 8s and five 7s and Nasteha Mohamoud scored two  9s, six 8s,a 6 and a 5,

A school spokesperson said: "These students have shown that Capital students can get the very top grades even when nationally far fewer students achieved grade 9s.

"We are delighted that so many of them are enrolling into the 6th form.

"We thank all our Capital staff, students and parents and join them in celebrating."