A GROUP of 12 and 13-year-old maths whizzkids from Donington have passed GCSE exams three years ahead of schedule.
The 11 year eight pupils from a class at the Thomas Cowley High School all gained a C grade in the exam this summer.
Teacher Laura Jesson said: “The younger students had covered a lot of their typical topics in year eight and were demonstrating excellent skills in these areas.
“It was discussed with the particular students and their parents at parent’s evening and then they were given the choice if they wanted to take the exam or not.
“We take the attitude that if you are demonstrating the necessary skills and understanding to take a GCSE then why not be given the opportunity, regardless of age?”
The successful year eight pupils were Emma Andrew, Daniel Buchanan, Macaulay Ealham, Connor Hollyoake, Rebecca Hughes, Skye Inkley; Luke Jackson, Adam Moore, Jay Paling, Charles Smith and Michael Taylor.
Selected students in years nine and ten also joined the 16-year-old year 11 cohort in sitting the maths GCSE.
Only five out of the 66 students who took the exam failed to achieve the C grade.
Miss Jesson added: “The group will continue with their course of study during year nine, which will be a higher content of the GCSE.
“The aspiration is for the rest of their teaching group to achieve their success by the end of the year. They will also take their first module at the higher specification, which potentially means gaining 25 per cent at a A* level.”
Miss Jesson hopes the pupils will be able to tackle some A-level work and possibly take a maths AS-level before they leave the school.
The teacher described the pupils as being “very humble” at their success.
She added: “In achieving this GCSE it can give students hope and confidence that they didn’t have before. It sends a message to other students that it is possible.
“I think we may also forget how stressful the GCSE exam period is for students and providing these opportunities enables them to manage themselves and help them look forward to their future.”