When Manae Feleu arrived at Woodford House as an international student three years ago, her English was basic.

"I could understand quite a bit of English if it was said slowly but I was not great at speaking or writing in English," Mana says.

Three years on and she passed NCEA Level 2 with an overall excellence. She also passed five courses with excellence endorsements, including English, which is the highest accolade available in NCEA.

The 16-year-old joined the Woodford House family from Futuna, a little island between Fiji and Samoa, in 2014.

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She says consistency and support from her friends was the key to her exceptional grades.

"I worked consistently throughout the year in all of my subjects which meant I didn't need to revise too much ahead of exams."

She says Year 13 boarder Georgia Mischefski-Gray, who is one of her best friends, was a key support person when studying. "We encouraged and reminded each other that we really had to study. When I got distracted she just reminded me that I had to study. It was the little things like that that really helped."

As deputy head girl, Mana is looking forward to another year of challenges and successes.