GCSE results 2019: Unaccompanied Syrian refugee at Newman Catholic College gets top grades

Omar Alfrouh. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Omar Alfrouh. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Jonathan Goldberg

The head of a Harlesden boys’ school has been inspired by a Syrian pupil who came to the UK two years ago an unaccompanied minor, but smashed his GCSEs after just five terms.

Chandresh Shailesh (left) and Neel Devondrakumar look at their GCSE results at Newman Catholic Colle

Chandresh Shailesh (left) and Neel Devondrakumar look at their GCSE results at Newman Catholic College. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Jonathan Goldberg

Omar Alfrouh arrived in London in 2017 aged 16 and enrolled in Newman Catholic College, in Harlesden Road.

Headmaster Danny Coyle said: "When Omar arrived at Newman he could not speak a word of English. Today he passed all his GCSEs with top grades in maths, science, English, RE and performing arts, among others."

He said the pupil, now 18, "embraced much that life has to offer" and has appeared on stage at the National Theatre. "He was also the subject of a TV documentary extolling the benefits of immigration to [our] universal quality of life and collective wealth."

Mr Coyle added: "He has been a central, good humoured, energetic, compassionate and thoroughly engaging part of our community.

GCSE results at Newman Catholic College
High achievers L-R: Vladut Jacob, Fuad Mohamed, Ericsson As

GCSE results at Newman Catholic College High achievers L-R: Vladut Jacob, Fuad Mohamed, Ericsson Asamoah and Joshua Gomes. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Jonathan Goldberg


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"I believe that we are as enriched as a result of our association with Omar as he has been through his with us.

"I am a better person because of Omar's journey, resilience and success. He is an inspiration."

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The headmaster said the school achieved its "best ever GCSE results" this year.

A quarter of all students receieved a grade at 7 to 9 while 10 per cent achieved a grade 9.

He added: "The school would like to warmly congratulate all our wonderful young men for their success and of course commend the outstanding teachers for the hard work and talent that has paid off so handsomely.

"We look forward to the new term with great anticipation."

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