Kingsbury student scoops 17 GCSEs two years after arriving in the country unable to speak English

Brazilian 16-year-old praises his teachers at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden

A Brazilian teenager who came to England two years ago unable to speak English picked up a staggering 17 GCSEs today.

Matheus Souza, 16, from Kingsbury, got an impressive 8A*, one A, five Bs and three Cs.

The delighted youngster, who is a pupil at Newman Catholic College, in Harlesden Road, Harlesden, said he wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of his teachers.

He said: “I have lived in different countries all my life. But when I started school here in Harlesden I couldn’t speak a word of English.

“I had to learn it quickly. In the beginning I had extra classes with a tutor. It was really hard.”

And it was a double celebration for Matheus who broke the news to his proud mum Maria on her birthday.

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The student, who is planning to take maths, further maths, physics, graphics and Italian A-levels, said: “It’s the best present I could have given her. My parents are going to be really happy. I’ve had a lot of support from my teachers here. I wasn’t expecting to do so well.”

Newman Catholic College was previously called Cardinal Hinsley School until it change its name last year.

Richard Kolka, headteacher, said: “We are very proud of the results which show an improvement on last year.

“The boys have worked very hard. It has been a good year for the school.”

Matheus is just one of a plethora of bright sparks who have attained impressive GCSE result including a 10-year-old who is still at primary school.

Sarah Jasim, who attends Sudbury Primary School in Watford Road, Sudbury, proved age is just a number when it comes to scooping a GCSE.

Sarah, who wants to be a doctor, was awarded an A* in GCSE maths.

Her uncle, Ayad Dibis, 20, said: “We are very proud of her. We knew she was bright but we didn’t think she would be able to get an A* at such a young age. Her parents, who are from Iraq, are very happy. She’s a little genius.”

Meanwhile, Kingsbury High School pupil, Harshada Balasubramanian over came all odds and got five A* and three As despite being blind.

Jeremy Waxman, headteacher, said: “Harshada is an exceptional student who has worked incredibly hard and has surmounted considerable odds to succeed.”