Richmond School mathematicians lead way at regional challenge

Pictured left to right- Phillipa Kind (Year 7, merit), Pheobe Jones (Year 7, merit), Lucy Chandler (Year 7, distinction), Harvey Scott (Year 10, merit), Isobel Brooks (Year 9, merit), and Annabel Gorman (Year 8, distinction). Not in the picture is Connie Lord, Year 7, who gained a merit.

A team of mathematicians from Richmond School and Sixth Form College has led the way in a North-East maths challenge that tests students’ problem-solving skills and stimulates interest in maths for the second year running.

Seven talented mathematicians, from Year 7 to Year 10, took part in different challenges set by Newcastle University, achieving an unbeaten two distinctions and five merits.

Each year, the university invites students from across the North East to tackle the latest version of difficult problems and challenges.

This year’s set of problems were based around a chemical theme and the periodic table.

Although many hundreds of students take part, only a few students are awarded merits and, fewer still, distinctions.

Around 4,000 students complete the challenge with only the best results submitted to Newcastle University.

This year, there were 830 entries, with just 46 students receiving awards. For the second consecutive year, no school attained more merits and distinctions than Richmond School who scooped an impressive haul of 15 per cent of the total awards, achieving five of the 28 merits and two of the 18 distinctions.

Scott Lunn, head of maths, said: “I’m enormously proud of the students’ achievements, especially given their top ranking. Furthermore, to repeat the success for a second year is a fantastic accomplishment.

“All the students are exceptional mathematicians and they have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the competition. The awards evening represented the efforts of all the many students who were involved from Richmond School.”

Philippa Kind, Year 7 award-winning mathematician, added: “The maths challenge for me was certainly a challenge but one that I loved as maths is one of my favourite subjects.

“I found it fun to find different objects that I could use to help me solve the more difficult questions.

“I learned that determination pays off and if you keep trying you will succeed and feel a sense of achievement. I would definitely take part again next year.”