Maths students prove best in country

Last week, Michael Minshall, Alice Haynes (2nd years), Gina Curwen (1st year) and Ed Kirkby (Year 11 at Amery Hill), formed the winning team of the UK Maths Trust Senior Team Maths Challenge.

This year over 1000 schools and colleges from around the UK entered, competing in over 50 regional heats. 63 teams progressed to the Final, held in London on February 1st. After winning the regional heat last month, Alton College represented Hampshire and IOW in the final. Competitors included Eton, Harrow, Wellington, Abingdon School, Magdalen School, Royal Grammar Schools (Guildford & Newcastle), City of London School and Loughborough Grammar School.

The team took the lead right from the start and held it throughout the competition. The team were delighted with their 60/60 score in the group round, which consisted of 10 tough questions which the team had to solve together. They followed this with a 66/68 result in the crossnumber round.  Similar to a crossword puzzle, this had the team working in pairs with one pair solving the across clues and the other pair solving the down clues.

Following this was the relay round where our team scored another 100%. This task meant the four students really had to come together as they worked in pairs once again but had to receive information from the other pair in order to solve their own set of questions. They sailed through this round, answered all the questions correctly and within the bonus time limit.

Dave Lynch, Head of Maths at Alton College, was delighted with the team’s achievements. He said: “The four of them worked extremely well and their success is down to a combination of individual talent and excellent teamwork.  I am extremely proud of their amazing achievement; becoming national champions is something to remember for the rest of their lives!” The students also won a maths book and a top of the range graphical calculator. 

This is the third Maths trophy Alton College has won in the past 12 months.  Along with the regional and national finals of the UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge, they have also won the Hampshire Further Maths Competition.  Alton College may also be invited to represent the UK in the Italian Team Maths Competition later on this year.

Congratulations to all the students involved!