A Bulgarian student was among those rewarded at a series of achievement assemblies at an Ilkeston school.
Awards were handed out to students in years eight to 11 at Kirk Hallam Community Academy for academic achievements, effort and attendance.
There were also a series of special awards and in year ten the winner of the Head of Year award was Yoana Boynova, who joined the academy from Bulgaria at the end of year nine.
The 15-year-old spoke little English when she came to the UK but is now studying for her GCSE exams.
Maria Whitehead, head of year ten at Kirk Hallam Community Academy, congratulated Yoana on her success.
She said: “Yoana joined us from Bulgaria and she came to the UK with her family.
“When she came she couldn’t speak much English and it’s quite unbelievable to think that now she is working towards her GCSEs.
“She’s doing really well and is a wonderful artist. She picks out key words and she can use those key words to help her translate the work she is doing.
“Yoana has worked extremely hard and she is studying the full curriculum - she is an incredibly inspiring student.”
Martin Ebbage, head teacher at the academy, said he was extremely proud of all of the students who received awards.
He said: “We think it is important to recognise the hard work and dedication of our students with events like this. Well done everyone.”