Summer’s too hot to handle as she beats headteacher in test

11-year-old Summer Lawson, who got 100 per cent in her SATs exams, and beat headteacher Mike Cooney, who got one wrong.
11-year-old Summer Lawson, who got 100 per cent in her SATs exams, and beat headteacher Mike Cooney, who got one wrong.

AN 11-YEAR-OLD brainbox proved she is top of the class after getting 100 per cent in her final primary school exams – and beating the headteacher’s score.

Bright St Bega’s Primary School pupil Summer Lawson gained top marks in her Year 6 SAT exams answering every one of the 100 questions correctly, placing her among a unique group of perfect pupils who sat the tests across the country.

But headteacher Mike Cooney was left red-faced after he also sat the exam – and got one question wrong.

The Key Stage 2 levels 3-5 maths papers featured number-crunching questions that could have older brains flummoxed.

But Summer, who lives on the Central Estate, Hartlepool, with mum Leanne Sewell, 32, stepdad Andrew Sewell, 34, and sister Amber Lawson, eight, kept a cool head.

Mr Cooney said: “Obviously I’m never going to live it down. It does show how difficult these tests are, they are not easy. For a pupil to get 100 per cent in that paper is phenomenal.”

Summer correctly answered a series of mathematical questions, including multiplication, working out fractions, how to calculate the area of a shaded space, and other complicated maths questions based on given scenarios.

After pupils sit tests, Mr Cooney will complete the paper himself to get a feel of how pupils will fare.

The stumbling block for him was the final question on Test B, which showed a pie chart and fractions of the number of pupils walking to school from two different schools.

He said he worked the figure out as a percentage and should have converted it to numbers.

“Summer’s calculation method was better than mine,” he said.

Mr Cooney added that it has been nine years since a pupil at the Hartlepool school achieved 100 per cent in the test, although this year around half a dozen did gain scores over the 90 mark, which he said is “extremely good”.

Mr Cooney had planned to start an initiative in September where pupils could challenge the headteacher.

But he said he was feeling less confident now, after being trounced by Summer.

He said: “I think Summer will go on to do extremely well when she goes to English Martyrs School in September.”

Summer’s mum Leanne, a carer for disabled people, said: “When I found out she had got 100 per cent and beaten her headteacher’s score, I was amazed.

“Words can’t express how proud we are of her.”

Leanne said Summer is “naturally clever”, and described Summer’s sister Amber, also a St Bega’s pupil, as “bright”.

She said Summer hopes to be a pharmacist or a solicitor when she is older.

Leanne paid tribute to Mr Cooney for his and the school’s support and also thanked Summer’s teacher for the past two years, Claire McMurdo, known to her pupils as Mrs Mac, for “seeing Summer’s potential and pushing her”.

How many can you do?

1 At a tournament there are seven players in each team.

There are 112 players altogether.

How many teams is this?

2 Here are five calculations:

A 12 x 12 - 10

B 13 x 13 - 20

C 14 x 14 - 40

D 15 x 15 - 80

E 16 x 16 - 160

Write the letter of the calculation that has the greatest answer.

Write the letter of the calculation that has the answer closest to 100.

3 Books are 25p each at a car boot sale.

Alfie wants to buy 12 books.

He only has £2.35.

How much more money does Alfie need?

4 Write in the missing number:

164.5 - ? = 76.88

5 364 is a multiple of 7 but not a multiple of 3

384 is a multiple of 3 but not a multiple of 7

Find a number between 364 and 384 that is both a multiple of 7 and a multiple of 3.


1. 16 2. C,E 3. 65p 4. 87.62 5. 378