POLISH twins who arrived in England two years ago without being able to speak a word of English are celebrating a strong performance in their GCSE exams. ADRIAN and Sebastian Kucia, who come from Krakow, had to adjust to a new life in Darlington when their father got a job in the town as an engineer. And now they have both achieved strong passes across the curriculum at Haughton Academy, with Adrian getting an outstanding grade 8 in maths. Adrian now wants to be an architect, while Sebastian has ambitions to be a personal trainer. Fiona Campbell, Assistant Head Teacher at Haughton Academy, said: “What they have achieved in such a short time is incredible and a real testament to their resilience and hard work.” Adrian said: “It was really hard when we first arrived, especially to learn the language, but we made friends and we felt more comfortable after a year. We are really proud.”
Haughton Academy decided to put the whole of Year 10 through the English Language exam a year early and two pupils – Danni Greenfield and Bethany Higgins – achieved the top grade of 9, putting them amongst the top three per cent in the country. Brooke Mason’s performance was described as “outstanding” with a grade 9 in English Literature, an 8 in Maths and a 7 in English Language, as well as seven A*s and two As. Rose McEwan achieved an 8 in English Language and two 7s in English Literature and Maths, as well as two A*s and two As. Gemma Challans was another high achiever with three 7s in English Language, Literature and Maths. She also got three As. Principal Jonathan Lumb said: “The results show steady progress across all subjects for this cohort of pupils and we’re especially pleased with a huge improvement in Maths.”
LUCY’S incredible journey to academic excellence at Haughton Academy in Darlington began when she and her mother Yanping left their home in China for family reasons to seek a new life in England. When she started at Whinfield Primary School in Darlington, she only knew a few English words such as “Good morning”. But the sadness and fear she felt back then has been replaced with joy after achieving six A* and six A grades in her GCSEs at Haughton Academy. “I still remember my first day at primary school, seeing all the faces, and feeling homesick and scared but I am very happy now. Everyone has been so nice and supportive and my results are better than I thought they would be,” she said. She said her mother and her family members back in China, including her father Lei Tao - a surgeon - would be “very proud”.
Leia Sunter is another Haughton pupil who has overcome the odds to produce outstanding results. Leia, who has high-functioning autism, achieved 12 A*-C grades, including maths and English. She said: “I’m really proud of myself because I always tried to pay attention in class and do my best.” Leia, who comes from a farming family near Sedgefield, now plans to study engineering at the new University Training College at Newton Aycliffe.
And there was double cause for celebration in the Ellwood family home when twins Ross and Jacob managed 15 A* and A grades between them. Ross said: “We were quite competitive when we were younger but that’s calmed down now and we’re just really pleased for each other.”
Overall, the results at Haughton Academy have shown a year on year increase of more than 12 per cent. Last year, the school had 46 per cent of its pupils achieving five A*- C grades, including English and Maths. This year, that key benchmark has risen to 58.3 per cent, ahead of last year’s national average of 56 per cent. Principal Jonathan Lumb, who took over as principal for this academic year, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the year-on-year improvement which is due to the hard work of the students and the dedication and commitment of the staff in giving them sustained support.”
A SERIOUSLY ill student who was forced to take her exams in hospital while undergoing blood transfusions was celebrating last night after passing seven GCSEs to win a place at college.
Staff at Haughton Academy, in Darlington, drove exam papers to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) where student Reanna Martin was undergoing complicated bowel surgery.
The 16-year-old collapsed while visiting Beamish Museum just before she was due to sit her exams and was rushed into hospital with severe anaemia.
She underwent several blood transfusions and tests revealed she was suffering from ulcerative colitis, a dangerous long-term condition that inflames the bowel.
The condition was so severe that she had to have her large bowel removed and she was also diagnosed a coeliac, and must now eat gluten-free food.
Future treatment will also see surgeons replace a temporary stoma with a J-pouch, made from the end of the small bowel to replace the function of the affected large bowel.
During another blood transfusion the teenager sat a maths exam and overall managed to secure seven GCSEs including maths and English.
Her efforts have secured her a place at Stockton Riverside College to study Aviation Level 3 with a view to becoming cabin crew.
“I was shocked at how well I did and am really excited because now I can train to be cabin crew,” she said.
“The school has been fantastic, driving up the exam papers for me in hospital and collecting them again. Now I have my results it has all been worth it.”
Deputy headteacher Steven Clough said: “When she was in school she always had a smile on her face; you would never have known how poorly she was.
“If ever a student deserved success it is Reanna and she remains an incredible role model for us all.”
COURAGEOUS, hardworking and determined students have all received the highest honours at their school’s end of year prize-giving ceremony.
Star pupils from the Education Village Academy Trust, in Darlington, were presented with their trophies at a glittering event celebrating the annual Student of the Year Awards.
Nominated by teaching staff for attitude, academic success, good behaviour and overcoming adversity, 12 students from Beaumont Hill Academy, Gurney Pease Academy, Haughton Academy and Springfield Academy were shortlisted for the schools’ most prestigious accolade.
Deputy chief executive officer of the Education Village Academy Trust Richard Gartland said: “The awards celebrate the achievements of our students recognising their contribution to school life and their own personal triumphs.
“From dozens of nominations we had to shortlist it down to just 12 students so we were looking for something just that little bit special but it was a very hard job.”
Winner of the Beaumont Hill Academy Student of the Year was year 9 student Bradley Wilson who was shortlisted alongside year 5 student Liam Emmot and year 2 pupil Angel Harbor.
The award for Gurney Pease Academy Student of the Year went to year 6 student Dorothea Roman who was shortlisted with John Mullett, year 6 and Richard Whiting, year 2.
Shortlisted for the Haughton Academy Student of the Year award were year 11 students Annabelle Woodcock, Raveen Bura and Reanna Martin.
Teacher Vickie Gorton nominated Annabelle Woodcock who was presented with the overall winner’s trophy.
The final Student of the Year award for Springfield Academy was contested by three non-related candidates all with the surname Walker, Casey, year 4, Callum, year 1 and Charlie, year 6.
Winner Callum, six, collected his award after showing great courage overcoming major surgery to combat his Hirschsprungs Disease.
A TEENAGER who couldn’t speak a word of English when he moved to the North-East is celebrating after passing his GCSEs to earn a place at college.
When Jakub Pulawski joined Haughton Academy, in Darlington, in year 8 from his home in Poland he couldn’t speak any English.
But the 16-year-old was thrilled this week after he secured seven GCSEs and is now planning to go to Darlington College where he will study with the Martin Gray Football Academy.
"I didn't want to come to England because of leaving my friends," he said. "But I was persuaded by the chance to play football and am very pleased to be here as I now play centre back for Darlington."
"I would love to do as well as possible in football or might become a PE teacher one day. I couldn't speak any English but had help from my Darlington friends and Haughton teachers."
"I was shocked to get an A* in PE and a B in maths and was pleased to get an A* in Polish and a C in English.”
Deputy headteacher Steven Clough said: “Credit must go to Jakub as he really managed to turn around his studies in year 11 and has been rewarded with some great grades.”
Dear Parents, Carers and potential future Haughton Academy students,
As a former Haughton Academy student, I am not only pleased to have been a part of an ever-improving school community, but I am also immensely proud to say that I was a member of the year group that achieved the best exam results ever at Haughton. Further to the academic success that the Academy granted my year group, we also had a fantastic opportunity to aid our local community through an action project and continuous fundraising events (inside and outside of school) which greatly aided a homeless charity in Darlington. At Haughton Academy we were encouraged to be the very best that we could become, not only in our academic success but also the way we presented and represented ourselves in the school. As a result of the high standard of teaching and learning available at Haughton Academy, I have this year been able to take four A Level courses making me well placed to go further onto a university degree, helping me further with my personal long term aspiration of becoming an officer in the Royal Navy. I am one of a full year group of students who this year achieved fantastic GCSE results and are now looking at bright futures ahead of us. We could not have achieved our great success without the constant high quality of learning available at Haughton Academy and their continuous effort to create high achieving and fundamentally high aspiring students.
Former Haughton Academy student