April 26, 2023

Promoting a Love of Problem Solving

Our top set mathematicians in Years 7 and 8 were challenged by the UK Maths Trust today as they took part in the 2023 Junior Maths Challenge. The Fryers applied themselves to some tricky problem-solving in a multiple-choice test over 60 minutes which according to the organisers is designed to assess “mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems.”


The aim is to make students think and whilst most of the questions are accessible to those with a higher degree of mathematical competency there are also problems to challenge those with more experience or aptitude. Unlike the Senior Maths Challenge there is no negative scoring so out of the 25 questions the first fifteen can gain five marks each and those in the 16-25 bracket are worth six marks each.


As this is a national competition the pupils are pitted against students from schools across the UK in their attempt to gain recognition for their mathematical skills. The top 50% of participants are awarded certificates in the ratio 3:2:1 for Bronze, Silver and Gold prizes with special demarcation for those who are Best in Year or Best in School as well. Those achieving the highest echelons of succuss are invited to take part in the follow up competitions the Junior Kangaroo and the Junior Mathematical Olympiad.


“I think maths at LP is really good at challenging and stretching our minds. We get to try a variety of websites that give us new and unique ways of learning maths.” enthused Isabella (Year 8) “I think the maths challenge was fun to participate in as we don’t have to worry about grades, we are just able to test our ability and progress.”


Head of Maths, Mary Boyd, commented, “Developing our students’ thinking skills is at the heart of what we do at Leighton Park to help each reach their full potential, where we recognise that independent problem solving develops mathematical power in an enjoyable and challenging way, to give students the tools to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve hypothetical and real world problems in Mathematics and across other disciplines, using their existing knowledge and developing new knowledge through the solution of interesting problems.  Beyond the obvious benefits to students’ educational growth, the UK Mathematical Trust Challenges provide the perfect forum for our students to compete at a national and international level to explore opportunities above and beyond the realms of a textbook and classroom where they have consistently attained Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards and even progressed to the next levels of competition, reserved for only the very best of competitors.”


We wish all our mathematicians the very best of luck as they await their outcomes!

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