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Thursday, 17 August, 2000, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Maths A-level, age 10
Adam Spencer reading maths text book
Adam Spencer hopes to be at university by 14
A 10-year-old boy is celebrating after achieving a B grade in maths A-level.

Adam Spencer, of Arlesey in Bedfordshire, is one of the youngest pupils to have achieved an A-level pass.

He took just one year to complete the course at an adult education class run by Luton Sixth Form College, where he studied for six hours a week in the evenings.

Although he said he had been hoping for an A grade, he conceded he was "very pleased" with his success.

'Normal childhood'

Adam is currently preparing for his GCSEs at Samuel Whitbread High School in Shefford.

He hopes to go to university to read maths by the age of 14, and is planning a career in chemical and biological research.

"I don't feel I've missed out on a normal childhood at all. I've got friends my age and I like playing computer games and cycling," he said.

"I don't live a completely strict life, but I do work each day."

Deputy principal Brian Edwards said the college had accepted Adam after other schools had turned him down because he was so young.

He said: "We've been very pleased to be able to give this boy the opportunity to get his A-level. We are extremely pleased that he has been so successful."

Sameer Sanghvi
Sameer Sanghvi: "I worked hard"

Other young students were also celebrating early A-level success on Thursday.

12-year-old Sameer Sanghvi achieved a C grade in computing - after studying for the exam for just nine months.

His achievement comes just one year after he managed a GCSE grade C in information technology

He said: "I'm really happy with my result as I worked hard for it.

"I wanted to do it as I like computers generally, and in the modern world, everyone needs to use them. I think it's really good to do exams early because you can retake it if you fail."

Record-breaking reputation

Sameer, who lives in Finchley, north London, studied for both his A-level and GCSE at Ryde College in Watford.

The college has established a reputation for its pupils passing exams at a young age, and each year its students make the headlines with their record-breaking achievements.

It was founded nearly 20 years ago by Dr Ronald Ryde, a former lecturer in computing, and is based on the philosophy that children have an instinctive ability to learn, and so should be allowed to do so at their own pace.

Sameer's father Jayant, 49, said: "Initially we just sent him here to learn computing and he got very interested in it.

Hadley Parrie
Hadley Parrie proudly displays his results letter

"After passing his GCSE last year, he wanted to do an A-level and I was all for it."

The college's youngest ever pupil to pass an A-level was 11-year-old Neil Madhvani, who achieved a C grade in computing in 1992.

This year, Sameer is joined by a large number of other young classmates who are also celebrating passes in computing, including three 13-year-olds, six 14-year-olds and six 15-year-olds.

Hadley Parrie, 14, was ecstatic to get an A grade after only eight months of exam preparation.

"Deep down, I felt I had always worked towards an A, but I was doubtful before I got my result," he said.

"I'm just so pleased that what started off a a hobby has given me a qualification which will help me towards getting into a good university."

'Technical revolution'

Dr Ryde said: "We do not believe in pushing children. If a child wants to do it, I am all for it.

"Why hold a child back? In India you get children of 15 or 16 writing computer software.

"There is a technical revolution and we are losing out in this country because we are not making full use of our resources."

Managing director Mike Ryde said: "We are very pleased for all our students who have given a great deal of commitment to the course, and worked exceptionally hard throughout the year in addition to completing their normal school work.

"It is a wonderful achievement for them and will hopefully give the confidence for their future studies."

More than 80 students, aged between six and 16, are now awaiting the arrival of their GCSE results in information technology, maths and English next week.



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See also:

27 May 00 | Education
27 May 00 | Education
26 Aug 99 | exams99
24 Aug 99 | Education
28 Aug 98 | Education
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