Boy, 11, gets highest grade in GCSE maths after taking exam five years early

Harry Thew (Bede Academy/PA)
Harry Thew (Bede Academy/PA)

An 11-year-old boy took his maths GCSE five years early – and achieved the highest grade possible.

Harry Thew, who took the exam in Year 6 at Bede Academy in Blyth, Northumberland, said his performance was “quite good”.

He dropped just two marks on one paper and five on the second to achieve a grade 9.

Harry said: “It’s quite good. I thought I would get an 8 or 9 because I did in the mocks. Some of the questions were easy, some were harder and some were in the middle.”

The schoolboy, who has reached grade 5 in drums and also plays piano, can complete a Rubix cube puzzle in 12 seconds and competes at national level.

His mother Elizabeth said: “Maths is just something he likes. He has a very high IQ and he’s always loved puzzles, numbers and logic.

“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.”

Mrs Thew, who is a primary school teacher in Blyth, said she and her husband Steve were “average” at maths.

It was Harry who wanted to do it. When he was asked why, he said ‘why not?’

Elizabeth Thew

“Definitely not as good as Harry,” she added.

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

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

Harry took his exam on the same day as the Year 11 students but on his own with an invigilator at Bede Primary, which he joined in Reception.

Mrs Thew added: “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 will join Bede Secondary in Year 7.

Mrs Thew 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’ll have a conversation about A-level and what to do next.”

Harry added: “I’d like to continue with it but I have no idea what I want to do when I’m older.”

Bede Academy principal Andrew Thelwell 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.”