SCHOOLBOY, who could not speak any English when he arrived in the country at the age of 11, has passed 13 GCSEs – including one A* and four As.

Jakub Makowski arrived in the UK two days before he started at Colchester’s Alderman Blaxill School.

Jakub, 16, from Berechurch, said: “The school helped me, and within about three months I started to pick it up.

“The first three months were like torture. I was a new pupil, it was a new school and I really quickly changed from one life to another.

“Maths used to be my favourite subject because numbers are the same everywhere.”

Jakub’s father’s job brought the family to England from Poland.

He has since got involved in the school council and Colchester’s Youth Council and represented the town in the Youth Parliament.

He was presented with a Jack Petchey Award two years ago for making so much progress.

He gave up his free time to set up a Polish club. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he got an A* in Polish.

He plans to study law, politics, English literature and history at Colchester Sixth Form.