EVERYTHING added up to success for four mathematical maestros after being named one of the top three school teams in the region in a UK-wide competition.
Pupils from Darlington School of Mathematics and Science finished second runners-up, after taking on 29 schools and colleges across Darlington, Durham, Tyneside and Northumberland, in the UK Maths Team Challenge.
Year 9 students Andrew Nicoll, 13, Heather McKim, 14 and Year 8 pupils Michael Plumb, 13 and Joshua Jackson, 13, each performed four rounds of demanding mental tasks and mathematical skill challenges at the regional heats held at Durham Johnston School.
DSMS maths teacher Tom Holmes said: “This is the second year that our school has entered a team into the UK Maths Challenge and we are incredibly proud of our students’ success.
“It is an amazing achievement for DSMS to be the best school in Darlington, of those that entered the competition, as well as beating other high achieving schools such as Durham High School and Durham School.
“I think our students were slightly stunned that they did so well but it was well deserved success after they put in so much hard work.”
Run by the UK Mathematics Trust, the competition, open to pupils in Years 8 and 9, aims to promote mathematical dexterity, team working, and communication skills and give pupils the opportunity to compete against students from other schools in their region.
The four pupils, chosen from rigorous selection trials through DSMS’s extra curricular maths club, spent four months training for the competition with help from Mr Holmes and maths teacher Jenny Taylorson.
“We did a lot of work based on basic pure maths and problem solving,” said Mr Holmes.
“The challenges in the competition were mainly focused on factorisation, prime numbers and understanding the basic building blocks of maths.
“Not only did our students exceed their own expectations within the challenge, they also gained more confidence in themselves and the knowledge that they are able to achieve on a par with any other school in the region.”
Andrew Nicoll said: “This is the second year that Heather and I have been part of the team challenge.
“We had a much more practice this year so I felt a lot more confident but the competition from the other schools was still very tough.
“I think we were all really surprised when we were told we had got third place but very happy too.”
The winners of the regional heat, host school Durham Johnston, will now go on to represent the North East in the national finals of the competition in London.