I dunno about you, but when I was at school an A* star in maths seemed highly improbable. I wouldn’t like to calculate just how improbable, because obviously that would require doing maths.
But anyway, it seems our chances of obtaining top grades would have been vastly improved if we’d had a so-called ‘maths whisperer’ teaching us.
That’s what Francis Elive has been dubbed after his entire Year 11 class got A* grades in their GCSEs.
The pupils at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff, Wales, all got the best grade possible, which is even more remarkable when you consider they sat their exams six months early too.
The news will no doubt be turning teachers’ heads across the UK, but the whisperer of all things numbers doesn’t have any handy secrets to share.
The 55-year-old said: “There’s no secret method. All my pupils have worked very hard and I’m really proud of them.”
The class has been taught by Mr Elive throughout their time at the comprehensive school, and while he has been quite modest about his achievement, assistant head Jo Kemp has gushed about his ‘magic’ teaching.
Ms Kemp said: “We did a countdown so they all opened their results at the same time. There was a gasp as they saw their results and then all realised they had the same.
“We call him the maths whisperer. He’s passionate about his subject and he is quite a reserved man. But he was just on pins like an expectant dad – how you would want a teacher of your children to be feeling.
“He instils the belief that they have practised the hardest maths that they have to ever face, so why be scared of an exam?
“It’s the belief that they absolutely can do it, and the children think it’s magic.”
Tiger Bay Juniors FC also paid tribute to Mr Elive on Twitter.
The tweet read: “Fitzalan and our pupils making history again.
“Francis is a legend of a teacher. This is a great achievement for our local school. This is an indicator of the direction we are heading. Onwards and upwards.”
Among Mr Elive’s class of perfect grades, some pupils almost managed to obtain perfect marks too.
To put into perspective just how phenomenally well the class did, only 14 percent of pupils got an A* in their Maths GCSEs last year.
News from Ladbible