Although he is still too young for Facebook and is only allowed a mobile phone for emergencies, James is taking on maths aimed at children twice his age.
James, a pupil at Loretto Junior School, is already studying weighty and complex concepts such as advanced algebra, probability and number theory in his spare time – when he’s not either at school, practising his musical instruments or playing with his friends.
While many youngsters are quivering with nerves when it comes to taking maths exams, not only has eight-year-old James achieved a Silver Award in the Individual Intermediate maths Challenge – a national competition for 16 year olds – but he also amassed one of the highest scores in the school.
James was chosen to represent Loretto at the Team Maths Challenge at Edinburgh University – a competition against 23 other schools from the East of Scotland each involving lots of problem solving and tricky arithmetic. A clear first round from the team secured James and his much older team members a place in the national final to take place in London in June.
James’ mother, Susan, explained: “James’ talent for mathematics was spotted very early on, during his time at nursery. He was able to count well beyond 200 and he even learned the times tables over a weekend!”
James remarkable talent for mathematics is being well-nurtured at Loretto. He has individual maths lessons with Junior School Head, Mr Philip Meadows, himself a Cambridge graduate, and attends the school’s ‘Reimann Society’ intended to stretch minds with exciting and challenging maths problems.
Philip Meadows, Head of Loretto Junior School, added: “James is an outstanding young mathematician with innate ability and great potential. He demonstrates great mental dexterity and considerable intellectual maturity whilst retaining a schoolboy charm and enthusiasm.”