The Primary Maths Team Challenge took place on the 27th April 2016 and involved around 20 primary schools taking part in maths based activities to score points and overall come first in the event. It was originally set up by Tonbridge Grammar School's Year 12 students in 2009 and has run every year since because of its great success. Even schools abroad in countries like Holland and Dubai adopted this challenge and use our resources to give their Schools the same opportunity. I speak on behalf of the whole Sixth Form team, I think it was a very fun day, from start to finish. And the best thing about it for me was seeing just how enthusiastic the children where about maths and how excited they were that they were in a grammar school taking part in a maths challenge representing their school! When speaking to some of my peers, Niamh said that her favourite part of the day was helping out one of the students and seeing their reaction and engagement with the subject and the enthusiasm of the day. Pip was on the scoring team and her favourite part of the day was seeing how the table shifted throughout the day, seeing some schools take the lead in one round, then lose it in the next. Especially seeing how much the last round impacted the tables because it was worth double the amounts of points.
The day was structured as follows: upon arrival the schools had some starter questions they could complete until all the teams were present. Then the first round began, the pure maths round, which was run by Shafiye and his team. It was a round of 10 questions which were all to do with pure, simple maths, where they had to solve questions using mental arithmetic and other mental methods. Then, Aminah and her team followed with the puzzle round which also had 10 engaging maths questions which were much trickier than the average question because this time you needed more than just maths, you needed problem solving qualities as well. The third round was the shuttle round, which was a very unique round, led by Tabbi and her team. It was unique because the schools would split into two halves, one team A and one team B. Then team A had to work together as a pair to get the answer to the first question, and then this answer would be passed to team B and allow them to complete their question. Confusing? Luckily the students received a great explanation from Tabbi and managed to understand it straight away.
The last round was run by Ollie and his team, this appeared to be the most amusing round for the students because it didn't just involve maths and problem solving. This was called the relay round, and as you can guess by the name, it involved lots of running! Again the teams were split into two pairs, but each time one of them answered a question correctly they had to run to the teacher to get the next question (who was on the other side of the hall) and then run to their other pair so they could complete the question. Also another confusing round, but Ollie explained it by using a demonstration involving the Sixth Formers so the children would understand. And seeing as when Ollie counted down for the round to commence every student was on the edge of their seat waiting to run, I think they understood just fine!
We must congratulate Slade for taking home first place, and scoring an incredible 295, with full marks in each round except the last round, which is very impressive seeing the difficulty of the questions. Every team that took part did extremely well and just by being there it proves that they were all very talented mathematicians. The schools that took part definitely enjoyed the day and lots of them rated the event 5 stars: Ben from Paddock Wood Primary said 'I have improved my teamwork and problem solving'.
Alice from St. Margaret Clitherow said 'I have learnt lots I hadn't known and it has improved our teamwork which is good'. Pierre from Slade said 'I loved it! It was really fun and challenging. I didn't expect any of it!' I speak again on behalf of the Sixth Form team, seeing these comments is really rewarding because we ran the event to give the students a good time, and knowing that we succeeded is a great feeling. It wasn't just the students that enjoyed it, here are some of the teacher’s comments: 'very well organised and the questions were explained well. Good for the children to have maths in a fun setting and to see other schools' said the teacher from Penshurst.
The teacher from The Discovery School said it was a 'good challenge, good organisation, very enjoyable. The children really enjoyed themselves. Great experience for all and new challenges in the maths world'. And from Bidborough the teacher said 'great team work, they all enjoyed working together. Challenging questions especially algebra which the students have not seen in school. The challenge was well pitched'. To conclude, it was a great day for everyone involved and I hope that this type of event continues and grows in popularity because it is such a great opportunity for the Primary School students.
Written by Joseph - Year 12