A nine-year-old Bushey boy has already passed his maths GCSE with flying colours.
Rafi Ashkenazi-Bakes, who just started Year 5 at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School in Radlett, smashed through three foundation GCSE mathematics exams around six years in advance, passing with 91 per cent.
Rafi, who took the exams as a private candidate in June after enrolling with the exam board, AQA, was bizarrely one of only a handful of pupils in the country who managed to successfully take the them – due to COVID-19, most pupils were given their predicted grades.
While the GCSE result certainly seems premature in Rafi’s education, it had in fact been a long time coming because he had his sights set on completing it from the age of six.
His mum, Lily, explained: “He’s always been a naturally inquisitive child, so when he would see his older brother and sister doing their work, he’d want to do the same as them. I was cleaning out my eldest son’s books when Rafi found his GCSE maths book and was desperate to start completing it.
“Of course, he couldn’t do it at first. I started humouring him by teaching him bits and pieces, but I soon realised he was taking all of it in straight away and really applying himself. Since then, he constantly asked to do the GCSE and we knew he was ready for them this summer.
“We weren’t sure if he’d be able to take them, because of everything going on nationally with grading and the algorithms – but he found out a week before the exam that he could do it.
“We were ecstatic when he passed, and so was he. Bless him, he’s only nine! But he was so driven and determined to take them; we didn’t have to push him at all. He wants to do his chemistry GCSE next, thought there is a practical element, so he will have to wait until secondary school.”