Bristol teenager Weronika Razmus has been offered a place at Oxford University – only six years after moving to the UK without the ability to speak or write any English.
Weronika, aged 18, moved with her family from Poland to Shirehampton in 2011 and attended Oasis Academy Brightstowe until the summer of 2015.
She then won a scholarship to Colston’s School to study for her A Levels and has now been offered a place to read chemistry at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, in the autumn.
Weronika won a Tolman Scholarship, which are provided by Old Colstonians in memory of Jim Tolman, who attended Colston’s and went on to become a hugely popular PE teacher at Oasis Academy Brightstowe for many years. Every year two Brightstowe students are selected for one of the two sixth form Tolman Scholarships at Colston’s.
Weronika is one of two Colston’s sixth formers to win an Oxbridge place this year. Head girl Francesca James, also 18, from Westbury-on-Trym, has been offered a place at Gonville and Caius, Cambridge, where she will study chemical engineering through natural sciences.
“This is an amazing opportunity as none of my family have been to university,” says Weronika.
“When I moved to the UK in 2011 I didn’t speak any English, German was my second language. But I was determined to pick it up and all the staff at Brightstowe were great in helping me to become fluent. Both my parents work in construction but I would like to stay working in something chemistry-related when I finish my four-year degree.”
Francesca said: “Like Weronika I’d like to stay in my chosen field when I finish my degree, working in power plants for example. I’m studying double maths, physics and chemistry and I’ve always enjoyed these subjects.”
Joe Docherty, Principal at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, said: “From the moment she arrived at the academy, Weronika displayed a passion for learning and an outstanding work ethic.
“It is testament to the success of our link with Colston’s through the Tolman Scholarship that she has been offered a place at Oxford and we continue to wish her every success for the future.”