A student who moved to Cardiff from Iran three years ago got an almost perfect set of results – including three A*s.
Amin Parvareshinia, 18, moved from Iran with his younger brother in 2015 and now lives with his family in Riverside.
After making the 4,000-mile journey, Amin, whose first language is Persian, could barely string a sentence together in English.
When he sat his A levels, he wanted to get an A* in physics and beat his friends in further maths.
When he picked up his exam results he found out he’d done both, achieving three A*s in maths, further maths, physics and an A in chemistry.
“I’m really happy,” said Amin. “My parents are really proud too. I’ve always done well in exams so it isn’t new for them, but they’re proud of me.
“I’m going to be taking a gap year and I’ll be working as an assistant teacher at Fitzalan before applying for physics at university.
“My dream has always been to go to Oxford, and to beat my friends at further maths.”
But while it might seem effortless for Amin to smash his goals, he spent every spare minute practising his English at home and going to language lessons.
“When I was growing up I always wanted to be able to speak English, so I had some classes before I moved but I couldn’t speak for more than a minute or so,” he said. “I realised my English wasn’t enough so I had to try harder.
“Moving to Cardiff helped a lot because I was around the language. I knew a lot of the words, but I didn’t know how to put them together into sentences, then hearing it being spoken has helped me improve.
“I love living in Cardiff and I love the culture. My favourite thing is probably the people, they’re so friendly.”
But Amin wasn’t the only Fitzalan High School pupil to get perfect results at this year’s A level results day.
At A Level, 91% of achieved two or more A*-C grades with 100% of pupils securing two or more A*-E grades.
Assistant head teacher Jo Kemp said: “We’re delighted with another set of outstanding results.
“Staff and pupils should be really proud of the results achieved, particularly in new courses.
“We would like to wish all of our Year 13 pupils every success with whatever direction their lives take them in next.”