Maths talent pool in the Clarence adds up
THE mathematics talent pool in the Clarence is adding up with three students recognised for their outstanding achievements in the 2019 Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition.
Westlawn Public School Year 6 duo Jason Parkes and Ted Hill both received District awards - a feat achieved by just 70 of the 19,280 students at 335 primary schools within the Hunter, Central Coast, Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, New England and Central West regions who sat the 35-question exam.
To achieve a District Award, students need to have achieved a High Distinction standard or above.
“I thought my teacher Mr Pereira was joking with me when I found out,” Jason said.
Different to typical tests, the 39th annual competition challenges students to complete the exam without using calculators, rulers or geometrical instruments.
“I was pretty surprised,” Ted, who also likes science, said.
Both boys, who are bound for Grafton High School next year, have had Donna Williams as their maths teacher. She said Westlawn had produced multiple award winners from the competition twice previously in her 15 years at the school.
“They are commited and have an ability to be able to solve problems,” Ms Williams said. “They are very good at critical thinking and looking at different alternatives for answers.”
Meanwhile, South Grafton Public School Year 5 student Zoe Rayward was also recognised for her outstanding achievements in the competition.
The top 150 Year 5 students are invited to attend an intensive two-day Mathematics Camp in May 2020, where they have the opportunity to hone their skills and meet other students with similar interests and abilities.
“I thought I’d done pretty well, but some of the questions were pretty tricky, so I was surprised but happy,” Zoe said. “I like challenging myself to figure out problems.”
Zoe’s maths teacher is Miss Ryan, and she English and Sport.
“Huge congratulations go to these inspirational students for their excellent work in achieving incredible results in this exam. You, your families and schools can be very proud,” Newcastle Permanent chief people officer Felicity Laczina said.
“The Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition has been encouraging students to become enthusiastic about mathematics since 1981. The increasing number of schools participating in recent years shows it continues to be very popular with students, and reinforces the relevance of mathematics in the school curriculum.”