News & Achievements

High School Mathematics are the best in Cornwall

A team of four top mathematicians from Truro High School Sixth Form has beaten all other school teams in the county in the annual UK Senior Maths Team Challenge for the second year in succession.

The four teenagers are now training hard to prepare for the national finals of the competition, which takes place in London next month.

To win the coveted place in the final the two year 13 students, Julia Maskell and Elizabelle Kwan, together with their two year 12 teammates, Ronny To and Anna Phillips, took on and defeated teams from six other Cornish schools including Truro School, GEMS Bolitho School, Redruth School, St Austell College, Truro College and Newquay Tretherras School.

Cath Harding, the High School maths teacher responsible for the senior maths team, said they were all a bit nervous about the competition after doing so well in the 2010/2011 event.

She said: “We were all so pleased with the results of the regional finals and are really looking forward to taking part in the nationals again this year. It’s an amazing opportunity for the girls. We get involved because it gives our students a chance to use the knowledge they have acquired as part of the curriculum to solve non-exam type problems.”

The Senior Team Maths Challenge is organised by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, a registered charity whose aim is to advance the education of children and young people in mathematics. The UKMT Senior MathsTeam Challenge aims to promote mathematical dexterity, team working, and communication skills and gives pupils the opportunity to compete against pupils from other schools in their region.

During the regional contest the teams faced three different rounds. Round one required teams to work together to solve 10 problems in 40 minutes. Round two involved a ‘cross-number’, like a crossword but with numeric clues and answers. The team split into two, one pair answered the ‘across’ clues and the other the ‘down’ clues, without consultation between the pairs. The final round was a relay, again in pairs. The first pair was set a problem – the answer for which was the clue for the second pair’s question and so on. There were four problems for the pairs to solve in eight minutes.

The High School team will be one of 62 teams from UK schools and colleges taking part in the national finals.

Headmistress of Truro High School, Caroline Pascoe, said: “We are so proud of our senior maths team. This competition gives them a chance to stretch themselves and I know they will continue to rise to the challenge admirably. It’s also a great example for our younger students to see the team’s success – encouraging them to emulate their achievements.”


Published by: Darren Stevens

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