11-year-old at Bede Academy in Blyth gets grade 9 in GCSE maths, only dropping seven marks

A Bede Academy pupil was celebrating yesterday after earning a top grade in his maths GCSE, despite only being 11 years old.
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Harry Thew, a year 6 student at the academy’s primary school, only dropped seven marks across the two papers and achieved a 9, the highest possible grade.

He said: “It is quite good. I thought I would get an 8 or 9 because I did in the mocks.

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“Some of the questions were easy, some were harder, and some were in the middle.”

Harry said his result was "quite good." (Photo by Bede Academy)Harry said his result was "quite good." (Photo by Bede Academy)
Harry said his result was "quite good." (Photo by Bede Academy)

The multi-talented youngster is grade 5 on the drums and can play the piano.

He is also capable of completing a Rubik’s cube in 12 seconds and competes in national ‘cubing’ competitions.

Proud mum Elizabeth Thew said: “Maths is just something he likes. He has a very high IQ and he has always loved puzzles, numbers, and logic.

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“We gave him a SAT paper in year 2 and he passed it, so they gave him another at school to check and he passed that as well.

“Once we all realised how good he was, school went with the idea of him doing his GCSE.

“It was not because we wanted him to do it, it was Harry who wanted to do it. When he was asked why, he said ‘why not?’.”

Elizabeth said her and her husband, Steve, are “average” at maths and “definitely not as good as Harry.”

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The head of maths at Bede Academy’s secondary school, where Harry will go next year, had been helping him prepare for the exam.

Elizabeth said: “Head of maths Mrs Hindhaugh has been fantastic. She has been sending him papers and marking them for him.

“Once he settles in there we will have a conversation about A Level and what to do next.”

Harry sat the exam on the same date as the school’s other GCSE students, but in a room on his own with a separate invigilator.

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Elizabeth, who is herself a primary school teacher in Blyth, said: “He was pretty confident, quietly laid back, which is how he is.

“He was a bit worried beforehand but doing practice papers helped him realise he could do it.”

Harry wants to continue making progress with maths, but added: “I have no idea what I want to do when I am older.”

Andrew Thelwell, principal of Bede Academy, said: “Harry has always worked extremely hard in every subject and is an exceptionally talented young man who has done superbly well in his maths GCSE.

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“Not only has he achieved a grade 9 at such a young age but he also exemplifies Bede Academy virtues each and every day and has been a role model to all.

“One virtue which Harry particularly demonstrates is humility. He is kind, caring, and supportive of his peers, and staff at Bede Primary have loved teaching him and seeing him grow into the amazing person he is.

“Harry joins Bede Secondary in September and we are excited to see how his academic achievements will flourish further.”

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