Maths challenge

Maths Challenge 2014TALENTED mathematicians have achieved national acclaim after competing in a UK wide competition.

More than 150 students from Bede Academy, Blyth, took part in the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge which tests over 200,000 of the most able students throughout the country awarding gold, silver and bronze prizes to the top 40 percent of participants.

The challenge, run by The UK Mathematical Trust, is aimed at young people in Years 9-11 and sets a series of multiple choice questions focused on mathematical problem-solving, challenging students to think creatively and logically.

Bede Academy maths teacher Fiona Matthews said:

“We have been entering the competition for a number of years and once again our students have performed extremely well.

“The challenge really encourages them to think about maths by testing their deeper knowledge of the subject and helping them to understand why things are the way they are.

“It also has an element of healthy competition which is especially good for our high achievers since they can pitch themselves against the best young mathematicians in other schools around the country.”

Bede students collected a total of five silver awards and 24 bronze certificates, with the top scorers in each year group all being girls.

Year 11 student and silver award winner Katherine Finnemore, 16, who achieved the highest score in the whole academy, said:

“The questions were very challenging and very different from the work we do in the classroom. It forced you to think more logically about the answers.

“I’ve entered the competition before but this is the first time I’ve been the highest scorer.

“I really enjoy maths and am hoping to take it as one of my subjects at A level.”

Achieving the highest score in Year 10 was Christie Wilce, 15, of Blyth, who was awarded a silver certificate, and in Year 9 Hannah White, 14, of Blyth, who received a bronze award.

“This is the third time I’ve taken part in the UK Maths Challenge and it seemed a lot harder this year,” said Hannah.

“It was a big surprise to me to have done so well but I’m really pleased as maths is one of my favourite subjects.”

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Parents go back to school for lesson in maths teaching

Primary Maths Teaching (2)THE numbers stacked up in spectacular fashion when families were invited to join their children at school.

More than 50 parents, grandparents and carers were shown how numbers could be fun in a special mathematics session at Bede Academy, Blyth.

Students in Years 3-6 were joined by their families for an hour-long number crunching session led by the school’s numeracy lead Martin Lee.

The joint workshop featured the school’s version of Countdown, a times-table race game, magic squares and the number equivalent of Suduko, called Ken Ken.

Mr Lee said:

“We run the session every year and it is very well supported by families who hadn’t realised that numbers can be fun. Hopefully they will encourage their children at home and join in with their homework.”

Primary Maths Teaching (3)For Heather Christopher, mum of Year 3 pupil Lottie, the session was a far cry from her memories of school days.

“I don’t remember maths being this much fun when I was at school,” she said. “Lottie really enjoys the subject and she loves the academy. She likes it when I come in to school and it makes it so much easier to learn when she is happy.”

Zambia 2014

Zambia 2014 (1)STUDENTS at Bede Academy in Blyth will be doing Zumba for Zambia to help raise funds for a once-in-a-lifetime experience this summer.

Six students from Bede will join friends from their sister schools in the Emmanuel Schools Foundation on a working trip to Africa where they will provide home-based care to the elderly, work with orphans affected by Aids/HIV and take part in building projects.

The sixth formers have begun fund-raising towards the trip to Chengelo, in Zambia, in July.

One of the student’s mums, Allison Griffin-Maughan, has organised a sponsored two-hour ‘Zambiathon’ to be held at Bede Academy on April 12 from 10am, in which the travellers and their friends will take part.

Mrs Maughan, whose 16-year-old son Jamie is taking part, said:

“Every penny raised is vital in ensuring the success of the trip and in delivering the help and support so desperately needed by the people of Chengelo and Mkushi.

“The students will work with a school in Chengelo and the Mkushi community to offer support in homes and an orphanage to those less privileged than themselves.”

The trip to Zambia follows a similar expedition last year which the Bede students selected to take part described as “unforgettable’ and “incredible”.

Once there, this year’s group can expect to stay in traditional huts, travel around in the back of an open truck, try the local food including nshima, a staple made from maize flour, and learn some of the local Bemba language.