It all adds up for the young mathematicians at St Joseph’s college in Staffordshire, who have recorded the school’s best ever results in the Mathematical Association’s Intermediate Mathematics Challenge, writes Simon Carter.
More than 200,000 boffins enter the competition from Years 9, 10 and 11 every year, with 1,600 put forward for the Mathematics Olympiad. This year the Trent Vale Catholic high school had eight candidates qualify for the Olympiad, with William Huntley winning a gold medal and a distinction.
Merit award winners were Luke Barker, Edward Cooke and national youth scrabble champion Joseph Knapper. The boys had a philosophical approach to their subject. William, 14, from Crewe, said: “Mathematics is eternally intricate. There is always something else to discover.”
Luke Barker, 14, from Lightwood, added: “Mathematics has unknown possibilities so no matter how much you learn, you still have the same amount to learn.” Joseph Knapper, 14, from Clayton, said: “Mathematics is key to all society’s technological advances. Without maths we would not have television, the internet or many of the everyday objects we take for granted.”
Edward Cooke, 14, from Baldwins Gate, said: “I have always enjoyed the challenge of working out puzzles and maths offers a wonderful challenge.” Other gold winners were Daniel Eatough, Harvey Potts, Oliver Smith and Thomas Hardwick.