Norwich schoolgirl gains A-grade in Russian GCSE - aged just 10

Alexandra Wetherall with her parents at home in Surlingham. Photo: Bill Smith Alexandra Wetherall with her parents at home in Surlingham. Photo: Bill Smith

Monday, August 25, 2014
11:13 AM

A Norwich schoolgirl has gained an A-grade in her Russian GCSE – six years before most children even sit the exam.

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Alexandra Wetherall, 10, is also ahead of her peers in music, as she has already reached grade 6 in saxophone and grade 5 in singing and is close to a grade 6 in piano.

Alexandra, who has attended the Norwich Lower School in Cathedral Close for three years, does have one advantage when it comes to Russian, though.

Her mother Elena and maternal grandparents Natasha and Eugene Novoselova are all Russian.

Alexandra sat the GCSE exam alongside much older children at the senior Norwich School.

She said: “I was really pleased when I found out the results. I will now be taking Russian A-level in two years.

“In a way Russian is much harder to learn than English. Most of the words are longer and of course there’s a different alphabet.

“My mother and grandparents have taught me Russian.

“My grandparents live in St Petersburg and when we visit them, I attend a Russian school over there. And I really enjoy music. I would like to be a musician when I’m older.”

Proud dad Robin Wetherall, 63, who is a self-employed property developer, said: “We are immensely proud of her. The Russian is great. She does enjoy languages, She especially enjoys Latin at school.”

He and wife Elena, 34, from Bramerton Road, Surlingham, near Norwich, have been together about 15 years after meeting in Russia.

He was on business when he met her, as she was an interpreter.

Alexandra has grown up speaking both Russian and English, and Mr Wetherall has also picked up some of the language.

“I don’t speak it very well. I understand it better than I speak it,” he said.

His wife added: “We are over the moon. We were hoping she would do well in the GCSE.

“The writing part of the exam was my big concern, but she did really well in that as well. We are so proud of her.

“Obviously, she has spoken Russian since she was born, but it’s been just me and her. Unfortunately, they don’t teach it at her school.”

The couple have another son, Richard, 20, who is studying business management at the UEA in Norwich.

Both Alexandra’s parents have musical backgrounds. Her mother studied music in her home country, and her father was a choirboy at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Do you know somebody who has enjoyed a major academic success? Email details to david.bale2@archant.co.uk

2 comments

  • Not quite sure why the EDP put up the ages of the parents, the subject of the article is Alexandra aged 10. Any guesses?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • Doesn't make sense! The mother is 34 but they have a son who is 20. So she gave birth at the age of 14. But hang on, the couple only met 15 years ago.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Monday, August 25, 2014

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