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.


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.