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Calls for gifted children to get more support in schools

Calls for more support for gifted pupils, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have been backed by Potential Plus UK. Educational charity The Sutton Trust has urged the Government to develop a national programme, with ring-fenced funding, to support highly able state school pupils across the country. The charity has itself launched a scheme which will see 400 highly able children from non-selective state school take part in two or three year programmes at four leading universities...

Many strings to the bow . . .

Two talented Mensan siblings are hitting the high notes with success in high-ranking music exams. But music is just one of the areas in which Daniel and Abigail Cook, from south Wales, excel. Daniel, 15, has already achieved a distinction for his grade 8 piano exam - the highest grade possible - and will take grade 8 violin next month. Abigail, 12, is working towards grade 6 in the same two instruments They have both been members of Mensa since the age of 10 and have a combination of academic...

Bright children bullied for "being different"

Potential Plus UK, the national charity which works with children with high learning potential has joined forces with Kidscape, Carers Trust, Diversity Role Models and the Autistic Society on a new project, Being Me launched today in time for Anti-Bullying week to support those children being bullied at school because they are ‘different’. Denise Yates, chief executive of Potential Plus UK, said: "Far too many children are still facing the damaging effects of bullying at school just because...

The sky's the limit for astronomy star Sebastian

A young Mensa member who is already making his mark as a talented musician has proved he has more than one string to his bow – by becoming the youngest person to ever pass astronomy GCSE. But eight-year-old Sebastian Carrington, from Leicestershire, was not satisfied with just passing the exam this summer – he achieved a grade A. His mum Denise said: “We've had it confirmed by Edexcel exam board that Sebastian is definitely the youngest to have passed the exam at the age of eight years old.”...

Jenny takes over the hot seat

Jenny Gill has taken over as chair of British Mensa with a promise to "make a difference". The 62-year-old, of Huddersfiled, West Yorkshire, took over from Chris Tyler following the AGM in Cardiff. Chris has stepped down after four years as chair, and six on the board, because of work commitments. Jenny said she wanted to revitalise the organisation during her term of office by involving members from all ages and backgrounds. “I joined the board because I want to make a difference,” she said. “...

Swetha takes Global Think Test title

A doctor from India plans to use her $25,000 prize to fund further research after coming out on top in the Global Think Test. Swetha Jain, 27, from Chennai, answered the nine questions in the Global Think Test Day Challenge correctly and in the fastest time to win the contest, which was run by Kaspersky and backed by Mensa, Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and F1 team Ferrari. Players from across the world registered to play the game on Saturday. It was the culmination of the month-long...

Solid platform for bistro business in Barking

A Mensa member from Essex has cooked up an intellectual – and tasty - new business. Mensan Iliyan Kuzmanov, 35, has joined Ina Jankoic, 38, to open Ezo Bistro on Barking train station. He now hopes that the coffee shop, which doubles as a cosy reading room and art space, will be used for regular Mensa meetings. The couple, of Highbridge Road, Barking, will be offering the usual choice of coffees as well as snacks and cakes. They hope customers will linger in the shop to read some of the books...

An unexpected benefit of being a Mensan . . .

. . .is that you might come across someone who can teach you how to throw your boomerang so that it just might come back. One of the best meetings in this part of Lincolnshire is Helen and Paul's superb annual garden tea at their home near Spilsby. Somehow, the weather is always good for sitting in their lovely garden for hours, chatting away, drinking gallons of tea and enjoying many an edible treat. This year they even followed on from a previous discussion meeting about the Baltic states by...

Elementary - Sherlocks on trail of a world record

Sherlock Holmes fans are invited to pick up their deerstalker and magnifying glass and head to Yorkshire this month for an unusual world record attempt. The Yorkshire Brain Research Centre is aiming to break the record for the biggest gathering of people dressed as the famous sleuth - and organisers are keen to get Mensans involved. The record bid takes place at Temple Newsam in Leeds on August 31 from noon until 4pm. Everyone who takes part will receive a deerstalker, pipe and magnifying glass...

Chess star Sharon earns Child Genius title

Chess champion Sharon Daniel has beaten off some of the cleverest youngsters in Britain to win this year’s Child Genius title. Sharon, 11, from Bolton, won the trophy at the end of the second series of the Channel Four competition, backed by British Mensa. The independent learner beat eight year old Tudor Mendel-Idowu in the tense head to head finale of the four part series. Sharon is the current under-11 UK girl’s chess champion, and she chose the Battle of Stamford Bridge as her specialist...

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