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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge 2017

On Wednesday 15th November 2017, Gobind Bains, Jude McClay, Daniel Kingsbury and Thomas Lack attended the UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge. This is the most prestigious Maths team competition in the country. This is the most prestigious Maths team competition in the country.

One team from each participating school, comprising four pupils selected from Years 11, 12 and 13, competes in a regional round. No more than 2 pupils on a team may be from Year 13. There are around 18 regional competitions in the UK. The winning team in each regional round, as well as a few high-scoring runners-up from throughout the country, are then invited to the National Final in London.

The competition involved three 40 minute rounds:

Round 1 consisted of 10 questions. The team had to decide whether to tackle them together, in pairs or separately. Any answers had to be confirmed by the team before adding to the answer sheet. The marking was severe - only the correct answer was accepted, no marks were given for the working. 

Round 2 was a cross-number. Similar to a crossword, a single digit is entered in each square. The problem facing the team was that one pair was given the "across" clues while the other had the "down" clues. Most clues depended on an answer before the calculation could be attempted. To make it even more challenging the students could not talk or confer with the opposite pair.

Round 3 was a shuttle race. Pairs were given two questions to complete, but one answer was needed for the next question each time. Bonus marks were awarded for completing all correctly within time.

For many schools, this represents the pinnacle of Mathematics within the school, and selection and training happens throughout the term. For our pupils, enjoyment was paramount and the students had a great deal of fun with the challenging Maths problems. 

The competition was tense! The quality of the students taking part was exceptional and as the afternoon drew to an end everyone knew that a single slip could have been a disaster. But our wonderful students held their nerve and this year for the first time Northampton School for Boys came 3rd.

Whilst not winning, and thereby proceeding to the national final, the Northampton School for Boys team were outstanding and received plaudits from the other staff present for their mathematical flair, tenacity and sense of enjoyment.

Congratulations Gobind Bains, Jude McClay, Daniel Kingsbury and Thomas Lack!

Mrs S. Bradley-Brophy
Maths Department

Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240