It has been an exciting time for Maths competitions!
In February 50 students in Years 9, 10 and 11 sat the UKMT Intermediate Mathematical Challenge. This is a very challenging exam that tests students’ problem solving skills as well as logical, algebraic, numeric and geometrical reasoning skills. Of those that were entered from the school, 18 achieved gold awards, 13 silver and 4 bronze. Of these, seventeen students did so well that they qualified for the next rounds, either the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad or the European Kangaroo (depending on their score). These took place on Thursday 10 and 17 March, respectively. To get through to this stage is an outstanding achievement in itself and these students should be congratulated. We now eagerly await the results of these papers.
On Tuesday 8 March, a group of Year 8 and Year 9 students took part in the Dragon Maths Competition. This is what Sally Wang (Y8, Duffner), said about the day:
“Dragon Maths was a wonderful experience for me to challenge my problem solving skills and also to have fun. Eight of us were chosen out of the first set and split into A and B teams and both teams competed in the competition. I learnt that it wasn’t about doing your own calculations and making sure they were correct, but that it was about working collaboratively with your teammates to solve each problem together, to discuss the methods and then hand in your answers. Our team worked well together; we all contributed to each question, suggesting possibilities and trying them out. I was the runner and I made sure that I ran the fastest I could in order to waste less time, since we only had 45 minutes.
For a period of time we were stuck on one question and none of us knew what the answer was. We used two tries and got both wrong; it was then that we got quite frustrated, partly because we were running out of time, and partly because we didn’t want to give up. Apart from several other difficult questions, we did well and tried our best but in the end we didn’t come in the top three. However, it’s not the result that’s most important, but the process and what we have learnt. I am sure all of us learnt a lot of different things from the day and I personally learnt some tactics to deal with complicated questions, in order to gain more time for other questions.
Overall, the competition was memorable and I would definitely go again next year.”