A SYRIAN teenager who arrived in County Durham three years ago without being able to speak any English picked up his GCSE results.

Mohammad Nour Al Khouli was able to pass a handful of GCSEs, getting a grade three in English Literature despite not being able to speak the language when he started studying at Belmont Community School, Durham.

Originally from Homs, in Syria, the 16-year-old had been living in Lebanon between the ages of seven and 13, when he moved to Gilesgate as part of the refugee resettlement programme.

Mohammad, who had to work while living in Lebanon instead of regularly attending school, said: “Thanks to all the tutors who have helped me all the time with my English.

"I didn’t have any language before I came here. All the teachers have been helping me and translating everything for me. They’ve given me so much.”

“The UK is the best for school.”

He added: "At first it was hard because I didn't know anyone, I didn't speak any English and I didn't know the system.

"Now it's very cool. I know everyone in school and that's good for me. I've made a lot of good friends."

Mohammad is returning to the school next year to continue with English and science, as he has dreams of becoming a heart surgeon.

He said: “It’s what I’ve wanted since I was five. They help everyone - they can save many people.”