Clever Dagenham maths pupils taking GCSEs aged just 10 and 11

Fourteen Dagenham primary pupils are showing that their school can count on them to aim big – as they are to take GCSE maths exams this summer.

The clever Year 6 pupils at William Ford Junior School, Ford Road – who are all aged 10 and 11 – will be sitting the same papers that 16-year-olds will tackle.

For the past few months the youngsters have all received a weekly GCSE maths lesson at secondary school Dagenham Park, as part of a new initiative.

Head Dr Duncan Ramsay said the exams offered the youngsters a fantastic opportunity to boost their understanding of the subject.

“They are all very good at maths already, but this gives them the chance too achieve an even higher standard,” he said.

“It’s important that bright children are challenged and the GSCEs are a great way of doing this.”

Dr Ramsay stressed that no pressure was being put on the pupils.

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“No one has been forced to sit the exams, in fact they are all very keen and proud of themselves for taking them,” he said. “And we make sure the lessons are fun and relaxed.”

Pupil Oyinkan Fakunle, 11, said taking a GCSE has given her an opportunity to express her talent and “stand out from the rest of the crowd”.

“It has also given me an uplifting opportunity to recognise the gifts I have and to be proud of them – no matter what everyone says,” she added. Meanwhile, fellow pupil Noel Kunadu, 11, said: “GCSE group pushed me to my limits and made me proud of what I have accomplished.”

And Kieran Deeble, 11, said: “Dr Ramsey is a great teacher as he saw potential in some of us Year 6s and started us on our GCSE studies.

It feels so great to be doing this, it’s a real accomplishment.”