A STUDENT who was kicked out of school for disruptive behaviour in year eight turned his life around and achieved three A* and three A grades in last week's GCSE results.
Sam Lewis, described himself as an "angry child" who didn't care about his future when he was sent to Barry's Amelia Trust Farm pupil referral unit when he could no longer be coped with in class.
Now, thanks to hard work, support from staff at St Richard Gwyn Catholic High school and a few "metaphorical kicks up the backside" from his family, Sam is heading to study Aircraft Engineering with some remarkable exam results in his pocket.
Sam Lewis said he was extremely grateful for the numerous chances he was given to alter his path.
The 16-year-old from Pencoedtre, Barry, explained that frequent visits from the school's chaplain Nicola Price helped give him the drive to return to school and change his ways.
"Mrs Price would come down every two weeks and tell me what I was missing out on by not being in school," he said.
"I was just thinking about the day as it was, I wasn't thinking about the future."
Sam came back to school and ended up taking several lead roles in school productions, playing in the school's Welsh Championship winning basketball team as well as coming away with his impressive exam results.
Speaking about his three A*s, three As, four Bs and a C Sam said: "If I was told I would have those results in year eight I wouldn't have believed it. I wouldn't have believed it this morning."
Sam's grandfather Stuart Peacock, who drove Sam to pick up his results, said: "He saw the light. Everyone is really proud of him."
Acting headteacher Stephen Lord said: "Sam bought into what we were trying to do for him and his lifestyle choices changed dramatically.
"There was a great contribution from the school but without Sam’s willingness he could have slipped and lost it.
"I'm very, very proud."
Sam is planning on studying Aircraft Engineering at the Cardiff and Vale College’s International Centre for Aerospace Training based at Cardiff Airport.