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Deividas is inspiration at Gorleston school

PUBLISHED: 10:10 28 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:58 16 September 2010

Anthony Carroll

Eighteen months ago Eastern European teenager Deividas Raklevicius started at his Gorleston school with little grasp of the English language.

But now the 16-year Lithuanian is all smiles and brimming with confidence after he scooped 13 GCSEs or equivalents at Cliff Park High School.

Eighteen months ago Eastern European teenager Deividas Raklevicius started at his Gorleston school with little grasp of the English language.

But now the 16-year Lithuanian is all smiles and brimming with confidence after he scooped 13 GCSEs or equivalents at Cliff Park High School.

And in a further boost for Deividas he has been presented with the school's David Philpott Award for his inspirational efforts in the classroom in becoming word perfect in the Queen's English and gaining good grades in maths, English, Spanish and science on Tuesday.

His citation for the annual award reads: “This young man arrived at Cliff Park later than his peers and could hardly speak a word of English.

“He leaves us popular among his peers and both fluent and confident in speaking the language and in public.

“He is a shining example of what can be achieved.”

Deividas, who comes from Klaipeda by the Lithuanian coast, said: “At first it was hard going to Cliff Park. But everyone there was very helpful and friendly. I am very happy with my grades.”

He lives with his mother Gerinta Rakleviciene and her partner Shaban Leci in Heritage Mews, Great Yarmouth.

Mrs Rakleviciene, 36, who works as a customer assistant at Tesco, said: “I am so proud of him. When he came over he only knew a little English, but he picked it up very quickly.”

Deividas will now go on to study A-levels in maths, further maths and accounting at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston.

In Norfolk there are 365 Lithuanians in the county's schools and about 5pc of all students and pupils have English as a second language.

Cliff Park's headteacher, Rob Sherington, said: “There is much negativity about people moving into this country from abroad.

“This is a wonderful example of someone who arrived with very little English who has taken advantage of all the opportunities and support the school has offered, often beyond the normal school day, and achieving outstanding grades as a result.

“Deividas will go on to make a really positive contribution to our community in the future and should be proud of what he has achieved.”

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