Schools come together in Maths competition

For the first time ever, pupils from year 6 and year 10 came together to take part in the Alton College Team Maths Challenge. The 6 teams, made up of secondary and primary school pupils, took part in a fun and challenging Maths competition hosted here at College. The idea was to forge links between primary and secondary schools and our current students to reiterate the belief that Maths is enjoyable and to raise aspirations of young mathematicians in, what it is believed to be, the first competition of its kind nationally.

Pupils from Crondall and St. Lawrence Primary Schools teamed up with pupils from Amery Hill School; pupils from Herne Junior School and Langrish Primary School teamed up with pupils from The Petersfield School; and Bordon Junior School pupils teamed up with Mill Chase Community Technology College pupils. AS Maths and Further Maths students from College helped supervise each team and mark their answers. The questions were devised by senior Maths teachers from the participating secondary schools and the Curriculum Manager for Maths at Alton College, Dave Lynch.

The joint team from Amery Hill and St. Lawrence were the eventual winners after three rounds of challenging Maths questions, following the format of the UK Maths Trust’s Senior Team Maths Challenge. The first Group Round consisted of 10 tough questions for the Primary pupils to solve together, and a set of 10 tough questions for the secondary pupils. The Crossnumber round, similar to a crossword puzzle, had pupils working in pairs with secondary pupils solving the across clues and primary pupils solving the down clues. To make matters even more difficult, most of the questions needed answers to other clues, even those solved by the other pair, before they could even be attempted! The final Relay round had pupils working in pairs once again but each pair had to receive information from the other pair in order to solve their own set of questions, with bonus marks available for teams who answered all the questions correctly in a short time.

“The students had a great time working together on some really hard Maths questions” said Dr Lynch. “They also got to ask about what Maths was like at school and college; it was really good to hear them looking forward to studying A-level Maths at Alton College in a few years time. Another reason for organising this competition was to train up potential students to represent Alton College in the future. With recent regional, national and international success in Maths competitions, I’d very much like to see some of these students help us win again!”

Photo: Maths challenge winners from Amery Hill and St Lawrence Primary, with Jane Machell (Principal of Alton College) and Dr Dave Lynch.