Dylan Clark-Webb from Grange Park demonstrated amazing talent by achieving an A* in maths in his last term at Millbrook Primary School.
And he did it almost entirely from studying course workbooks and with some guidance from his mum Emma who explained that an assessment in Year 4 showed his ability was that of a gifted 12 year old. At the same time Dylan was diagnosed with a mild form of Asperger’s syndrome.
“I’m incredibly proud of Dylan’s achievement,” said Emma. “The Asperger’s didn’t hinder his ability; it seems to have had a positive effect on his maths ability. Dylan has a thirst for knowledge and has a very good memory which means he can absorb information very quickly.
“Millbrook were able to help him at first with more advanced work but he soon needed more. I’m not a pushy parent but I felt it would be a shame if Dylan wasn’t able to discover how far he could go and we got him the GCSE course books. We tried to find him a tutor when he said he wanted to try the exam, but they were all booked up so he was stuck with me.”
Emma herself achieved an A* in GCSE maths at Wootton Bassett School. With her support Dylan only put in an extra hour of homework a week for two years, and two hours extra in the year before he took the exam in June this year.
Dylan said he enjoyed the extra study. “I came out of the maths SATS in May and did a mock GCSE paper. I did the exam in June at Lydiard Park Academy. I was a bit worried about sitting down with 16 year olds, but they put me at the back of the hall and I felt alright.”
Explaining his talent, Dylan said: “Maths makes sense to me: I was given the further maths GCSE course book for my birthday and it looks like I can do it. But I find English a bit difficult. I like grammar and vocabulary but using imagination to write a story is not easy for me.
“I don’t watch TV much and only play computer games if I’m allowed to. I like to play the clarinet too.”
He started at Lydiard Park Academy in September and Emma is discussing with tutor’s how Dylan can be stretched to a more advanced level. “They have experience with gifted children and a strong maths programme so I think Dylan will be able to find his level with other students. The effects of his Asperger’s is reduced if his mind is active and he’s not bored.”
Dylan’s 4 year old brother Aiden started at Tregoze Primary School in September and is also keen maths. For Emma the extra effort to support her sons is worth it. “Encouraging them results in happy children which is a positive for our family.”