John is top of the class

John with his sister Heidi and brother Joel. INLM128gc
John with his sister Heidi and brother Joel. INLM128gc
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DOLLINGSTOWN youngster John Dawson isn’t just at the top of his class - he’s way ahead of it.

The 13-year-old Dollingstown lad scored full marks in a GCSE maths exam, two years before his classmates will even sit the exam.

His achievement is even more remarkable due to the fact that he did not receive any tutoring in the subject.

Young prodigy John, who attends Friend’s school in Lisburn, got an A* in his GCSE maths, which he sat back in June.

He was in year nine when he completed the exam - students normally do the exams in year 12.

It has placed the youngster among the top of the province’s markings - although it remains to be seen if he achieved the top score

Despite the flawless result, John felt confident all along.

“I was hoping to get an A star from the beginning,” said John.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing maths. I found it interesting and quite easy.

“I always liked the way you could use the numbers for different things.”

For John the accolades just keep adding up, as this week he also found out that he won a gold medal in the Junior Maths Olympiad.

Since he was in Maralin Primary School, John had a fascination with maths and read books on the subject extensively.

“I have read lots of maths books on my own. I think I was just half way through primary school when I completed the curriculum.”

Maths isn’t John’s only talent.

He plays classical music on the piano, which he learns at school, and is a former Ulster chess champion.

“I have been playing chess since my dad showed me when I was seven.

“I started playing in competitions when I was eight.”

Despite most students suffering from the September blues, John said he is glad to be back to school. “It’ll be good to see my friends and get back to class,” he said.