Wycombe Abbey Success at Inter-school Maths Competition
8 February 2021 - Academic
Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a report on the National Finals of the UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge, which is normally one of the most exciting days of the Mathematical calendar. Unfortunately, like so much else, the live event was cancelled this year, but not to be deterred Wycombe Abbey joined with four of the best schools in the country, Eton, Highgate, Magdalen College School and Westminster to host our own online version. This proved to be exceptionally popular with a total of 66 teams of four taking part in two age categories, including nine from Wycombe Abbey. With over four hours of mathematics that means that cumulatively there were more 1000 child hours of Mathematics!
The format of the competition was largely the same as the National Final with a Group Round, Shuttle and Relay, but the cross-number was replaced by a tie-breaker round, which was essentially an Olympiad Paper. The standard of competition was exceptionally high with an average of close to 35 out of 40 on the Group Round, and with numerous teams scoring full marks on those rounds. As expected, the relay and the particularly devilish tie-breaker rounds proved decisive.
The Senior competition was won by an exceptionally impressive team from Magdalen College School, which pipped Westminster by a single point. The highest place LVI Wycombe Abbey team of Darcy, Rose, Chloe and Noor finished a creditable 22nd in the Senior category. However, the real Wycombe Abbey stars of the day were the UV quartet of Lauren, Claudia, Charlotte and Hannah. After missing just one question in the group round and shuttle, a strong relay placed them just one point behind the top Junior Team from Eton. However, a perfect 25/25 in the tie-break left them as the top placed intermediate team. They should be exceptionally proud of this result, and hopefully they will mature into a top senior team when the live competitions resume.
There was a huge administrative effort behind the scenes, and I would like to give huge thanks to the teachers from Eton, Highgate, Magdalen, and Westminster who helped write some of the questions and keeping track of the scores as they came in. It was a Herculean effort, but well worth it.
Director of Innovation and Learning