City College Norwich hosts regional maths challenge

Some of Norfolk's top mathematical brains battled it out yesterday to see who had the best grip of simultaneous equations and the firmest understanding of functions.

A total of 18 teams from Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire took part in the regional heat of the UK Maths Senior Team Challenge at City College Norwich.

Fighting for a place in the national final, which will take place in London in February, the groups of four tackled three rounds of tough questions which tested their problem-solving skills and teamwork, as well as their mathematical knowledge.

Dennis Pinchon, team leader for the UK Mathematics Trust, which runs the competition, said it aimed to promote the study of maths at A-level and beyond.

He added: 'It challenges students with problems based on the sixth form specification but with questions you wouldn't usually experience in a classroom.

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'There's a lot of pressure – but hopefully it's enjoyable too.'

Teams included sixth formers from Sprowston High School, Wymondham College, Norwich School, and Reepham High School and College. Each team could have a maximum of two year-13, A2 level, pupils with the remaining two places filled by AS students. Litcham High School, near Dereham, which does not have a sixth form, fielded a team of GCSE pupils.

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For the City College team, sixth form students Khoa Bui, 19, from Great Yarmouth, George Worrall, 17, from Cromer, Jack Beeston, 19, from Old Catton, and Sam Gibbs, 17, from Taverham, were hoping for success as they worked together to solve the problems.

Peter Grimes, head of maths at the sixth form centre, said: 'It's brilliant enrichment for the students - and it's also pretty challenging. Hopefully they'll have fun too.'

The three sections began with a group round with all team members working together to find the answers against the clock.

That was followed by a 'crossnumber' round, where pupils worked in pairs to solve crossword-style numeric clues.

Finally, the students took part in a maths relay where each had to solve their individual clue before handing over to their team mate. The winning team from Gresham's School in Holt will head to London on February 1 while second placed Sprowston High and third placed St John Leman School, from Beccles, could also make the final.

Do you have an education story? Contact reporter Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468 or email as below.

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