On Wednesday 25 April Eltham entered a team of four students to the Mathematics Team Challenge Regional Finals at St Olave’s school. We have had success in this competition in the recent past and had a strong team of Charlie Thompson (8KAH), Yuxuan Jiang (8DDB), Daniel Kortuem (9CPD) and Maxime Pesenti (9JNC) who have all performed well in the individual Mathematics Challenges the school run.

When we arrived the boys were able to have a go at a few practice questions and then we were into real competition which started with ‘The Group Round’. The team were able to work together to answer ten challenging problems relating to all different types of Mathematics. The team did exceptionally well and scored 58/60. The ‘Shuttle Round’ followed when the boys were split into two pairs and answers are passed back and forth between the pairs with each subsequent question relying on the previous answer. With bonus marks for speed, this is always a challenging round, but the team secured full marks in one of the four sections and got at least two out of 4 correct in the others. At lunchtime, we were announced as one of the top 7 schools but were unsure of the exact position.

After lunch, the team remained in their pairs and took part in ‘The Crossnumber Round’ which is much like a crossword but with numbers as opposed to words. The team split into pairs with one pair tackling the across clues and one pair the down clues. The students performed well here scoring 58/60. Finally, there was the ‘Relay Round’ which is always the favourite with the students as they have to run as many questions and answers between their pairs and around the hall as possible in 45 minutes. The students found this round difficult but still got through an impressive number of questions in the allocated time.

As always, it was a very enjoyable day which challenged the students in a range of problem-solving activities, and when the results were announced, Eltham finished 3rd out of the 32 schools. St Olave’s were the winners this year and will, therefore, go on to the National Final as we did in 2014.

Charlie and Yuxuan will have the opportunity to give it another go next year alongside two of the top Mathematicians currently in Year 7.