UKRAINIAN children who fled the war in their homeland a year ago have astounded teachers with their resilience and determination.

Staff and pupils at Yorston Lodge Prep School in Knutsford are celebrating the achievements of the young refugees.

The children have settled with host families in Cheshire and are making excellent progress.

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Ivan Bielokhvostova and sister Hanna arrived with mum, Daria, during the early stages of the conflict.

The family was determined to reach the UK and replicate the life they led back in Kyiv.

Vladyslav Yakovenko and brother Myroslav travelled from Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, with mum, Svetlana, while dad remained in Ukraine to fight on the frontline.

Knutsford Guardian: Vladyslav Yakovenko with a model of the Titanic he made himselfVladyslav Yakovenko with a model of the Titanic he made himself (Image: Yorston Lodge Prep School)

Host families reached out to the school, which has committed to delivering the children’s education until they finish primary school at the age of 11, or until they choose to return to Ukraine.

Ivan and Hanna’s mum Daria said: “I am really pleased that the children have been able to join Yorston Lodge.

“Everyone has been really welcoming and the children have settled in so quickly.”

Vladyslav and Myroslav’s mum Svetlana said: “The boys are having a great time.

“Their classmates have been so friendly and both of the boys have been awarded the Spirit of Yorston Cup, which has really helped to build their self confidence.”

Headmistress Janet Dallimore said: “We welcomed our Ukrainian children last year at the height of the conflict.

“We have been amazed at how well they have settled in, built strong friendships and excelled in their lessons.

“All the children have fantastic ‘have a go’ attitudes which helps them greatly with their ability to learn, while our dedicated staff have extensive experience nurturing children from international backgrounds and helping them to settle into school life quickly and comfortably.

Knutsford Guardian: Hanna Bielokhvostova having fun in the adventure playgroundHanna Bielokhvostova having fun in the adventure playground (Image: Yorston Lodge Prep School)

“The children have picked up English quickly, learning specific practical phrases from their peers and teachers including safety instructions, names, objects and songs.

“For the younger children, their lessons also focus on sounds, words and reading alongside other pupils so it’s a key part of their everyday learning.

“Our unique STEM programme has also proven a great help, as it focuses on practical work such as designing and building robot cars and using our 3D printer, which the children have responded to greatly.”

Yorston Lodge has a tight knit school community with a range of international pupils from countries including Thailand, Dubai, Singapore and the US.

This provided a great foundation and nurturing environment for the children to join.