Churchill Academy

National Junior Maths Challenge Final

In March, the reader may recall, a crack team of mathematicians from Churchill attended the North Somerset Junior Maths Team Challenge Final, and beat more than 30 other schools to become regional champions. This fantastic achievement meant they qualified for the National Final in London, which took place on the 18th June. It is the first time a Churchill team has reached the Nationals in this competition.

On the day the team, consisting of James Dams and Stan Hemmings (Year 8), and Sarah Browne and Cam Leggett (Year 9) assembled at 6am in the Sports Centre car park and began a long journey to London. Upon arrival, they raced through the ‘warm-up’ problems and looked in good form before the competition began in earnest with the Poster Round, where the team had only 50 minutes to construct an A1 poster on Leonhard Euler (an 18th Century Swiss mathematician). This was followed by four more explicitly mathematical rounds, each testing not only the students’ mathematical prowess but also their teamwork skills: The Group Circus, Shuttle, Cross-number and Relay. Churchill performed admirably on all of the rounds, especially the Cross-number (their speciality), where they scored 57 out of a possible 58 points. To do so well in a national competition attended by the likes of Eton and Harrow is a monumental feat.

After the Relay, the team were exhausted but eagerly awaiting the results. Churchill did themselves proud by attaining 53rd place – a stunning accomplishment when one considers that more than 1750 school across the country entered the competition. This achievement is a real testament to the hard work put in by the team over all their lunchtime practice sessions, and the cooperative and supportive way they approach their mathematics.

The team would like to thank Mr Jones, who ran all those sessions and prepared the team, and Mr Woods, who drove the team to London and back.

Mr Woods