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Record-breaking Frome student excels at English

The Kumon Frome Study Centre gathered to recognise the achievements of students, ranging in age from three to 15 years on Sunday 22nd June.

The awards celebrate the exceptional achievements of the children who are now working above the level typical of their age, and also children who have developed their study skills, such as concentration, independence and confidence.

Awards were presented by Damian Paduraru and Maisie Russon, who had been selected as Students of Year, for their exceptional commitment and progress on the Kumon Programmes.

The afternoon began with students and their families taking part in a marathon, completing as many sums as they could in five minutes. The winner was 10 year old Caspar Berridge, who completed 348 multiplication questions! There was a chance to take part in a book swap and go on the bouncy castle.

The final award was presented to Elijah Gatward, who has beaten a Kumon record for being the youngest student to complete the English programme in Europe and Africa. Elijah managed to complete all 18 levels of the programme in five years. Starting at the age of two and going on to master critique of high level texts, such as Shakespeare and Austen novels by the age of seven.

His mum, Susan, is the instructor at the Frome Centre and started Elijah on the programme at two years old because he had shown an early interest in books and was desperate to learn to read.

Susan said. “I had only just started as an instructor, but had heard that there had been students who began this young, so decided to give it a try! From the start he had excellent memory, focus and an endless enthusiasm for learning. From the age of three, he decided he wanted to be a scientist and this hasn’t changed.

“His comprehension has allowed him to read about topics that interest him and attend workshops related to science. While his memory has helped him to remember facts and much of the periodic table! He really took control of his learning, often completing more worksheets per day on topics he wasn’t so keen on (romance/animal stories!) to get past those and on to something he found more interesting to him personally.

“I think it’s important to note that he doesn’t just study! He loves all learning. At school he has been learning the violin since reception and has taught himself the guitar and keyboard at home. He loves sport, including rugby and cricket and his favourite lesson is forest school.”

When asked what he thought about completing the English programme Elijah said, “I am pleased that I went right from the beginning to the end and I like that I am one of the youngest to finish. I like being able to read whatever I want to. My favourite book from Kumon was ‘Dracula’.”

When asked if he thought it was ‘clever’, he laughed and said, “No, it’s just something I have always done.”

Susan hopes that Elijah’s achievement will inspire more of her students to reach their potential and develop a love of learning, whatever their age.

To find out more about summer study with Kumon, or to book a free assessment, please contact your local centre: Susan Gatward, Frome, 01373 451889.