Maths students secure place in National Final

The regional heat of the UK’s biggest team mathematics competition for Year 12 and 13 students, the Senior Team Maths Challenge, was won by Alton College for the second consecutive year.

Of 23 teams in Hampshire’s heat, Alton College came first, Salesian College second, Peter Symonds third and joint fourth place went to Farnborough College, Brockenhurst College and Ryde College.

Ed Kirkby, Rob Carter, James Butcher and Heidi Nicholson of Alton College competed tirelessly for over two hours on a number of difficult mathematics challenges in an attempt to retain the college’s title.

Last year, the Alton College team made it to the national final and won, and subsequently represented the UK at the Italian Maths Competition, after beating the likes of Harrow, Westminster and Eton. The college is the only state-funded school or college to have won the national final and represent the UK, and this year’s team is on track to repeat the success this time around.

Dr Dave Lynch, Head of Maths at Alton College, said: “I continue to be amazed by our talented Maths students. Including the Hampshire Further Maths Puzzle Day competition, Alton College has now won 5 regional and national team Maths competitions in a row.  And it’s not just our very best students that are doing well.  Our students’ results demonstrate a significantly higher than national average achievement and their success has been incredible to witness. Over the past three years, 49% and 71% of our A2 Maths and A2 Further Maths students have gained an A or A* grade.”

Prior to the regional heat success, Ed, Rob, James and Heidi, plus 47 other Alton College students won an award in the Senior Maths Challenge.
14 proved exceptionally able as they won a gold award, 18 gained silver and 19 achieved bronze. Top of the leader board was Ed Kirkby who scored an amazing 100% of the 125 marks available in the paper. Incredibly, Ed has achieved this score for a third consecutive year; this is probably unique in the country!
James Butcher and Rob Carter also scored extremely well with 104 and 99 marks respectively, meaning that the three students all comfortably qualified for the British Maths Olympiad (BMO1) by scoring more than the required result of 93. Only the top 1000 students in the country qualify for this competition.
Introduced for the first time this year was the Kangaroo round, designed for excellent gold-level students who didn’t quite make it to the BMO1. The mark needed to qualify for this round was 82 and from Alton College, five students made the grade: Heidi Nicholson, Joe Corkerton, James Lowe, Chris Slim (all second years) and Marcel Welsh (first year).
Dave added: “Last year we had an amazing year with national and international success in Maths competitions, including two students through to the BMO1. Ed Kirkby, who is now studying A2 Maths and Further Maths despite only being in his first year; and Michael Minshall who is now studying Mathematics at Cambridge University - the top university in the country for maths - after securing an unconditional place and gaining the best total mark in the UK for A2 Maths and Further Maths.” 

This great set of Senior Maths Challenge results will hopefully be the start of another successful year.

The students who have won a Senior Maths Challenge award are:

Gold:  James Butcher, Robert Carter, Laurence Cooper, Joe Corkerton, Katie Grove, Edward Kirkby, James Lowe, Heidi Nicholson, David Ray, Chris Slim, George Smetana, Eloise Stradling, Gabriel Susman and Marcel Welsh.

Silver:  Mary Ala, William Alpe, Harry Boll, Nicholas Caddick, Robbie Cole, Georgina Curwen, Matthew Davies, Lucy Devlin, Rachael Fox, Jonathan Golding, Benjamin Gregory, Michael Hill, Alistair Kerr, Daisy Langford, Douglas Lowe, Callum McGregor, John Pinto and Joseph Tindall.

Bronze:  Dan Beecher, Miles Browne, Abigail Bye, Calvin Cotton, Richard Davis, Rebecca Hawkes, Simon Hird, Lauren Hunt, Liam Jenkins, Isobel Kemp, Oliver Lines, Marcus Rumpus, Josiah Savides, Stuart Sharpe, Jamie Stevens, Josh Terry, Hannah Thorne, Rebecca Walsh-Smith and Sarah Wells.