Mathematicians prepare for another successful year of competitive challenges

Mathematicians prepare for another successful year of competitive challenges

29 September 2021

The Maths Department is already preparing for another year of external competitions, while celebrating a fantastic finish to the last one for students Fleur, Wendy and Anna, as Head of Maths Mrs Ruth McKenna explains.

Mrs Ruth McKenna, Head of Maths

At Woldingham we love to explore maths in greater depth and adding an element of competition is one highly enjoyable way of doing this. Each year our most able mathematicians take part in two major competitions - the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Challenges and the Hans Woyda Competition.

The UKMT Challenges encourage a love of problem solving in mathematics among young people. They comprise the Junior Mathematical Challenge (JMC) for Years 7 to 8, the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge (IMC) for Years 9-11 and the Senior Maths Challenge (SMC) for students in the Upper Sixth or below. High-scoring students are invited to take part in follow-on ‘Kangaroo’ rounds, which may in turn lead to the Olympiad rounds - Junior, Cayley, Hamilton and Maclaurin. 

Top-scoring SMC entrants are invited to sit the British Mathematical Olympiad Round 1, which feeds into the training and selection of the team to represent the UK at the prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad. The Maths Department is proud that two Year 11 students, Wendy and Anna, sat the British Olympiad round 1 last year, having been awarded certificates of distinction and medals in the Maclaurin Olympiad. Wendy also won a place on the UKMT Oxford Training Camp.

Congratulations too to Fleur, who achieved a certificate of merit in the UKMT Junior Olympiad last year. Now in Year 9, Fleur has joined the Maths Department’s well-attended, weekly Hans Woyda Club (pictured), which prepares students for this team competition in which more than 60 schools in the London area take part. It consists of seven highly competitive and pressured rounds of mental starters, questions in geometry, probability, algebra, and use of calculators. In one round, students from four different year groups (9, 10 or 11, 12 and 13) pool their resources to complete a mathematical challenge in five minutes.

Hans Woyda Club members come to practise and to enjoy exercising their mathematical minds whilst working with students from other year groups and making friends. We’re looking forward to our first match against Wilson’s School on Monday 11 October.

This year’s UKMT Challenges begin with our Upper Sixth students taking part in the Mathematics Olympiad for Girls on Thursday 7 October.

Other UKMT Challenge results 2020-2021:

JMC - 8 Gold, 13 Silver and 13 Bronze certificates

IMC - 13 Gold, 18 Silver and 27 Bronze certificates

SMC - 5 Gold, 8 Silver and 16 Bronze certificates

Pink Kangaroo - 2 Certificates of Merit

Grey Kangaroo - 4 Certificates of Merit

Junior Kangaroo - 1 Certificate of Merit

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