Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Boy, 8, tutors mum for O levels

Boy, 8, tutors mum for O levels
Tue, Mar 10, 2009
The Straits Times

London, UK - He taught himself to read at two and was totting up his father's darts scores at 21/2.

Now aged eight, Ben Hayward is preparing for his biggest challenge to date: coaching his mother Sue through her maths GCSE, Britain's equivalent of the O levels, the Daily Mail has reported.

Ben, the youngest of her six children, has already been helping his nine-year-old brother Jordan with his homework.

'He's just got a natural gift,' said the 46-year-old mother, who failed her O-levels in school.

'We weren't surprised that he was bright, because all our children are clever, but we were amazed when we realised how exceptional he was,' she said.

Ben recognised large numbers like 250,000 at a young age.

An educational psychologist assessed him as having the mathematical ability of a 16-year-old and the reading age of an 18-year-old.

The boy wants to be a maths teacher and has set his sights on attending Oxford University.

'I just like working things out. It's great to be able to find the right answer and I really like working with my mum. She's actually very good at maths now,' he said.

His maths teacher Martin Dunn said the boy was the most naturally gifted young mathematician he had ever taught.

'Just as importantly, he is very well behaved, modest, unassuming and a great little lad,' he said.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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