Brothers from Newham become the youngest to pass their maths GCSE

David Carion (left) with Francis Carion, and their tutor, Chris Imafidon. Picture: Excellence In Edu

David Carion (left) with Francis Carion, and their tutor, Chris Imafidon. Picture: Excellence In Education - Credit: Archant

Two brothers from Newham were the youngest pupils in the country to pass a GCSE exam this year.

David, seven, and Francis Carian, nine, from East Ham, achieved grade 5s in maths, the equivalent to a high C or low B.

Their results come amid changes to GCSEs to make them more difficult, including tougher exams, less coursework, and a numbered grading system.

The boys, in Year Three and Four, were tutored by professor Chris Imafidon, who runs the Excellence in Education mentoring programme. Their course took place in Oxford over three days in June.

David, who wants to become a pilot, said: “My mum took me to EIE where they gave me a special book called the maths manual. I also played maths games with professor Imafidon.”

His brother, Francis, added: “I never knew I could even sit the exam until I started the mentorship programme.” Francis wants to be an astronaut or musician when he grows up.

Their father, videographer Ronald Carian, said: “This is the most pleasant surprise we have had since the birth of the children. This would have been impossible without Chris Imafidon, who shared the strategies for anyone to understand the most difficult concepts with phenomenal speed and great ease. He really knows how to draw out the genius in every child.”

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The EIE programme claims to teach anyone the fundamentals of A-level or GCSE subjects in just 21 days. Tutors identify pupils’ interests and use technology, including tablets and laptops, to help their learning. An emphasis is also placed on homework, which is set according to age group, and students are encouraged to read to an adult for 10 minutes every night.

The programme is run once a term, with preference given to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Previous success stories include Chris’s twins, Peter and Paula, who passed their GCSEs aged six in 2006.

Professor Imafidon said: “With the right, tools, techniques and technology every student is a genius.”

In David and Francis’ cohort, two pupils aged 11 and 12 achieved 8s in maths, and another achieved a 7. All three received offers to grammar schools.