All adding up for young mathematicians

The number of QE boys who achieved gold certificates in a prestigious national Mathematics competition has nearly doubled this year. Of the 271 boys from Years 7 & 8 who took part in the UK Junior Maths Challenge, 134 were awarded gold, compared to 71 last year.

A further 94 were awarded silver certificates, up from 44 in 2014 and 34 received bronze, up from 16 in 2014. “Only the top 40% of participants nationally receive a gold, silver or bronze certificate, in the ratio of 1:2:3,” said Assistant Head of Mathematics, Wendy Fung. “That alone demonstrates how well our boys have done.”

The ‘best in school’ award went to James Tan of Year 7 (pictured above left), who scored 129 out of 135; the best in Year 8 was Ikechi Mere (pictured above right), who scored 121. James went on to gain a Distinction in the Junior Olympiad, the competition which follows on from the Junior Maths Challenge.

The competition is run annually by the UK Mathematics Trust; the test comprises 25 multiple choice questions which have to be answered in one hour. The paper is taken at the school under normal examination conditions.

Eleven boys  qualified for the Junior Olympiad and a further 57 qualified for the Junior Kangaroo. Both are follow-on rounds from the UK Junior Maths Challenge. The Olympiad is by invitation only and is for the top 1,200 students in the country from an entry of more than 250,000. It takes the form of a two-hour paper with more in-depth mathematical problems. The Junior Kangaroo is also an invitation-only event, but has been expanded this year to allow several thousand candidates to take part. It is a one-hour multiple-choice paper with 25 questions, similar to the Junior Challenge but with slightly more difficult questions.

In the Junior Olympiad, Ikechi's score gained him a Merit, whilst James succeeded in being awarded a Distinction, together with a medal and a book prize.

“I am delighted with the boys’ achievements, especially given their young age, and look forward to their further success in Mathematical competitions in future,” said Miss Fung.