Children from Years 7 and 8 have achieved outstanding success in two recent UKMT (United Kingdom Mathematics Trust) challenges, including beating pupils from Pates and other selective schools in Gloucestershire to take silver in a hugely competitive Maths challenge.
Beaudesert Head of Maths Kingsley Burns gives some context…
UKMT Year 8 and 9 Team Maths Challenge
“The United Kingdom Mathematics Trust is part of a worldwide network of national bodies that operates Mathematics challenges for young people. This week four of our Year 8 children, Jessica Evie, Max and Frankie, took part in the regional qualifiers for the Team Challenge for Year 8 and Year 9 pupils. Of twenty teams we were the only one to field only Year 8s; all the others had two Year 9s in their squads. The main competition we faced was from the big local grammar schools such as Pates and Crypt. They were selecting their highest achieving children from an already highly selective intake, and 120+ children in each year group to choose from.
There were four rounds of fiendishly difficult problem solving, each of 45 minutes to an hour, requiring not just Mathematical nous but the ability to cooperate as a team under stressful, timed conditions. In the end our plucky band finished in second place behind Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Only first place gained automatic qualification to the National Finals, but there remains a small chance that we will get an invited to the big day in June.
It is difficult to explain what a big deal this is for us here at Beaudesert, but one teacher from another school explained it well when she said; “It’s so lovely to see a fresh name on the leader board!” Beaudesert is a small and unselective school, and we were competing against much larger, and academically selective schools. The children did absolutely outstandingly, and it was wonderful to see that the years they’ve spent enjoying the slightly wacky and off-beat side of Maths have led to such impressive skills and such an impressive achievement.”
UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge
“The IMC is a written paper for pupils up to Year 11, designed to tease and perplex the candidates, and to reward both knowledge and imaginative problem-solving. It is generally only taken up by schools which take their Maths quite seriously and even then it is only recommended for the top third of a school’s ability range at Year 11, with over 200,000 candidates taking part. Medals are awarded, with gold going to pupils in the top 6%, silver to others in the top 20%, and bronze to remaining pupils in the top 40%. Even though we only have pupils up to and including Year 8, we always put a few of our most enthusiastic and promising Mathematicians into the mix, and this year, of our nine entrants, two gained golds (Frankie and Will), four gained silver (Monty, Max, Evie and Jessica) and one gained a bronze (Elliot from Year 7). The children did not do particular practice aimed at the IMC paper – their skills are developed as part of the ordinary experience of Maths at Beaudesert. In April we will be sitting a much larger number of children for the Junior Maths Challenge, for pupils up to Year 8, and I am hoping for further success at that time.”
Kingsley Burns, Head of Maths, Beaudesert Park School