Gosforth boy, 9, passes maths GCSE six years early

image copyrightSimon Van der Velde
image captionTom Van der Velde is also a keen musician and Minecraft player

A nine-year-old boy has passed his maths GCSE exam after showing advanced numeracy skills during lockdown.

Tom Van der Velde, from Gosforth, was awarded a grade 5, the highest possible in the foundation exam and equivalent to an old B or high C grade.

It was a "nice thing to have on your CV - assuming they don't think it's a typo", his father Simon said.

Tom, who also likes music, swimming, tennis and Minecraft, was pleased with his result.

"But he's had all the other kids parents coming up to him and saying, 'Oh you're a clever boy,' and I think he's a bit self-conscious about it as well," Mr Van der Velde said.

"He doesn't do it for the glory, you know, he does it for the joy of maths, that's what he loves."

image copyrightNicola Van der Velde
image captionSimon Van der Velde also sat the GCSE to keep Tom company

Tom had been doing hour-long lessons at home during lockdown in three minutes, Mr Van der Velde said.

If he is keen they will take the higher GCSE, with its potential for grades up to 9, next January.

"And, if he stays enthusiastic, we'll do A level when he's 11," Mr Van der Velde said.

The pair learned together and sat the exam as external candidates at Whitley Bay High School in January.

Tom achieved 85% while his father, a writer who got a B in his O-Level maths, just beat him with 90%.

Mr Van der Velde said he would take more exams with his son but "once he's beating me every time I'll probably just bow out then".

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