At the end of last term, four Sixth Formers took part in the regional final of the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Senior Team Maths Challenge.  Thomas Pelling, Henry Shaw, and Harry Chen in the Lower Sixth and Chester Wang in the Upper Sixth, competed in three rounds; a group round, Crossnumber and Shuttle. The group round comprised of ten questions, which could be answered collectively, and the subsequent two rounds were competed in pairs on questions that linked together, however the boys were not able to communicate within their pairs.  The team had a very solid first round only dropping marks on one question.  They then proceeded to get full marks on the following two rounds resulting in them finishing in first place.  This qualified them to take place in the national final (an achievement they repeated from last year, though last year they qualified as a best-placed second finish). 

The national final took place in the Horticultural Halls in London on 6 February.  There were two main events; the Team Competition itself (though this time with four rounds) as well as a Poster Round which they completed as a team.  This round was on the subject of the mathematics of bell ringing which the students were able to research prior to the competition. On competition day, the boys were then asked to design a poster to answer three specific questions on the topic, drawing from the information they had researched.  

The Team Competition started well with the students being one of the schools that dropped only three points in the first round (the smallest amount of points possible to lose as they came in groups of three or six).  However of the 85 teams present there were a number of teams that achieved full marks on the first round.  The level of the questions was much harder at the national final and the team performed well, getting full marks in the Crossnumber round again.  While they did drop some marks on the final two time-pressured rounds of the Shuttle and Relay, they clearly performed well in their field of competitors as they managed to finish in 14th place overall. 

The boys can be very proud of this result; finishing in 14th place in a final of 85 out of a pool of 1300 schools from across the country is a remarkable achievement. With three of the boys being in the Lower Sixth it suggests we will have a very strong team for next year as well.


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