Britain’s young mathematicians have raised their game with the National Awards competition attracting a record-breaking 1,200 entries this year.
The top-ten scoring, Pythagoras problem-solvers have never been so hungry to reach the final of the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards with University Challenge’s Bobby Seagull, after battling it out in the semi-finals across December 5th and 6th.
Across this year’s primary schools, there are seven girls competing alongside eleven boys which indicates the closing gap in mathematics performance.
Schools Week figures showed the increasing exam results of girls, with 71.6% at grade four and above this year, compared to 71% in 2017.
The statistics demonstrate the consistent mathematical ability of boys with 4.2% receiving grade 9, whilst girls are at 3%.
Bobby Seagull, TV presenter, author and University Challenge host, commented on how the competition, organised by the Russell Group University and NRICH, is fundamental for inspiring the next generation:
“Maths is such an integral part of our everyday lives and having competitions like this really encourages children to see the importance of it and excitement that it can bring.”
Ruth Frett, Head of St John’s on-the-Hill in Chepstow (which has four pupils competing) recognised how the contest has provided the school’s children with an incentive to persevere with their arithmetic and angles.
This year’s Grand Final will be held at the University of Cambridge, 9th January. To hold the title of Best Young Mathematician is not the only incentive, as BOXER the AI robot, Sum Fun games and book bundles from Letts Revision will also be given as prizes.
The five primary school finalists are:
• Boughton Leigh Junior School, Rugby
• St George’s, Weybridge
• Elvetham Heath Primary School, Fleet
• Rothersthorpe C of E Primary School, Northampton
• Nelson Primary School, Twickenham
And the five secondary school finalists are:
• Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby
• John Hampden Grammar School, High Wycombe
• Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, Nottingham
• St John’s on the Hill, Chepstow
• Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham
Schools can enter for 2019/20 via www.explorelearning.co.uk/youngmathematicians.