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Brainy schoolboy is a class act for Eton

BRIGHT: Bertram Silvera with his mum, Alsian

FOR ONE south London schoolboy, offers to attend Britain’s most prestigious schools are like buses: you hope for one, then two come along at once.

It put 16-year-old Bertram Silvera in the difficult position of having to choose between Eton College – which has educated 19 British prime ministers – or Harrow, the school of choice for royal families around the world.

But with 11 A* GCSE predictions, Bertram is not your average teenager.

He already has four A*s in physics, chemistry, biology and maths, achieving perfect scores in all the sciences.

Beyond his studies, the drama enthusiast is a star pupil at the renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School, and was a finalist at last year’s Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge, organised by the Speakers Trust.

Bertram said: “I was considering where to do my A-levels and my elder brother suggested I look into Eton and Harrow. I thought it was a bit audacious to apply for some of the best schools in the country, but it doesn’t hurt to try.”

His gamble paid off and he received offers from two of the country’s best public schools.

After some serious soul-searching, the teenager decided to follow in the footsteps of David Cameron, Prince William and author George Orwell and accept a place at Eton in Windsor – where fees are approximately £30,000 a year.

Bertram, however, was awarded an academic and drama scholarship following a rigorous selection process that included three academic tests and a series of interviews.

He will start at the independent boarding school in September, to undertake A-levels in economics, further maths, advanced maths, drama and religious studies, and Pre-U in Spanish – an A-level equivalent devised by Cambridge University.

The model student has already won a prized role in Eton’s upcoming production of Macbeth before even being fitted for the iconic uniform, consisting of pinstripe trousers and a black tailcoat.

Bertram said: “There is a lot of history associated with Eton that might prove daunting (but) whatever happens, I plan to remember where I came from and keep my feet firmly on the ground.”

Bertram attends state-run Graveney School in Wandsworth, south London, rated ‘outstanding’ by Oftsed (Office for Standards in Education).

His Jamaican parents Alsian and Kenneth Silvera also did their best to give him the support he needed at home.

“All three of my children had additional tuition from a young age, because I think in those early years, between 0 and five, you set the foundation for the rest of their lives,” Alsian said.

“No matter how tired I was at the end of the working day, I would read to them. They had libraries in their room. Bertram could not play PlayStation because I never bought one. He learned to love reading.”

She said she saw signs of brilliance from an early age.

“When he was only two he would come out with the most unbelievable words and phrases. Everybody said he was going to be something special.

“He saw his brother and sister going off to university, so as a young child he would say ‘when I go to university’ not ‘if’ – it was instilled in him. I’ve joked that Bertram couldn’t even wait for university to fly the nest, but I know he is ready for this responsibility. I am so proud of him.”

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