For the second year running, a team of mathematicians from Richmond School and Sixth Form College has led the way in a North-East maths challenge that tests students’ problem-solving skills and stimulates interest in maths.
Seven talented mathematicians, from Year 7 to Year 10, took part in different challenges set by Newcastle University, achieving an unbeaten two distinctions and five merits. Each year, the university invites students from across the North East to tackle the latest version of difficult problems and challenges. This year’s set of problems were based around a chemical theme and the periodic table.
Although many hundreds of students take part, only a few students are awarded merits and, fewer still, distinctions. Around 4,000 students complete the challenge with only the best results submitted to Newcastle University. This year, there were 830 entries, with just 46 students receiving awards. For the second consecutive year, no school attained more merits and distinctions than Richmond School who scooped an impressive haul of 15% of the total awards, achieving five of the 28 merits and two of the 18 distinctions.
Scott Lunn, Head of Maths, commented: “I’m enormously proud of the students’ achievements, especially given their top ranking. Furthermore, to repeat the success for a second year is a fantastic accomplishment. All the students are exceptional mathematicians and they have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the competition. The awards evening represented the efforts of all the many students who were involved from Richmond School.”
All types of schools are invited to take part and the challenge encourages problem-solving in a positive and engaging way to improve confidence in maths, and ultimately in academic performance, partnering schools across the whole of the North East. The students had to tackle eight questions and write up their answers in a fully-worked, report-style format. Richmond School has a great mathematical tradition and students regularly excel in competitions, and there continues to be great talent and potential within the school to continue this excellence in future years.
Philippa Kind, Year 7 award-winning mathematician, concluded: “The maths challenge for me was certainly a challenge but one that I loved as maths is one of my favourite subjects. I found it fun to find different objects that I could use to help me solve the more difficult questions. I learned that determination pays off and if you keep trying you will succeed and feel a sense of achievement. I would definitely take part again next year.”