Kumon Whetstone students’ hard work and perseverance pays off at awards ceremony

27 January, 2017

“Kumon has given me something to aspire to – I have strived to work more, to achieve more, and to aim higher.”

In November 2016, students from the Kumon Whetstone Study Centre came together in celebration of their achievements at the Advanced Student Honour Roll (ASHR) ceremony.

This ceremony celebrates the achievements of students who have reached a level above that expected for their age; in total, 135 students received certificates and medals in front of their families and peers. This ceremony also marked the centre reaching its 20th anniversary!

For one student in particular, Emilija Marcianskaite, the ASHR ceremony was a particularly special celebration.

She said: “I joined the Kumon Whetstone Study Centre about ten years ago, whilst in Year 2 at school. My parents enrolled me on the English programme, as English was my second language and they didn’t want me to be disadvantaged. Realising how much progress I made in the first year of my study, they enrolled me on the maths programme in Year 3 as well.

“Within two years I was working two years ahead of my school curriculum in English and maths. Unfortunately, when I reached Year 6 both my parents and I felt that it wasn’t necessary for me to continue with Kumon, so I stopped at the age of 11.

“Starting secondary school was very easy for me. I had covered all topics in maths in Kumon already and I felt confident in my English lessons. Studying Kumon for four years also developed my study skills, like discipline, organisation and self-learning to such extent that they were transferrable to other subjects in the national curriculum. Unfortunately, this didn’t last forever and I realised that I was not working to the best of my abilities.

“Last autumn, in Year 10, my maths teacher sat me next to the girl who was considered one of the highest achievers in maths in our school year. To my surprise, I found out that she had been attending Kumon classes all these years and did not stop, like I did, at the end of the primary school. Having found this out, I decided to resume my Kumon studies.

“A year on, I feel delighted and above all convinced that I made the correct choice. To be honest, it wasn’t easy having to re-adjust to completing Kumon worksheets every day on top of my school assignments. It would have been so easy to stop when the workload got on top of me, however, I persevered and am now aiming to study maths not only at A-level, but hopefully even at university.

“Kumon has given me something to aspire to – I have strived to work more, to achieve more, and to aim higher. It has instilled the vital qualities of hard work, resilience, perseverance and discipline in me. And now I can proudly say that I want to pursue maths as a career.”

Michelle Mandak, Emilija’s Kumon Instructor, said: “I was very pleased when Emilija decided to resume the Kumon Maths Programme a year ago. It is always challenging to re-start Kumon after several years’ break.

“Emilija and I sat down and discussed targets I was going to set for her. As she had only 15 months before she would be due to sit her GCSE exams, she needed to understand what she was committing herself to. Initially she had to revise easier maths topics to enable her to progress rapidly to more challenging algebra in higher levels of the programme.

“I have been impressed and delighted with Emilija’s determination and hard work. I am sure that she will achieve a very good GCSE maths grade and will enjoy her AS and A-level maths course, while working towards completion of the Kumon Maths Programme.”

It is wonderful to hear how Emilija realised her potential through Kumon and is now hoping to pursue a career in maths. Well done Emilija and all of the other Whetstone Study Centre students – we hope you continue to succeed.