My younger son is something of a whizz at maths. He was selected, along with three other gifted and talented (G&T) mathematicians in year 5, to represent the school in a maths competition at a private school on the other side of the county. The four kids were split into pairs and there were 36 teams/ pairs in total, from state and private schools around the county.
I didn’t go to watch – it was too far away and there were ballet logistics to consider, so I only have my son’s account of what happened. When my son tells a long story it’s often a long and elaborate excuse as to why he has failed (in his mind, not winning is failure – except in football where failure is quite usual).
Apparently the 36 teams were split into two competitions, with 18 teams in each. The split was random, there was no ability ranking. The competition took the form of six rounds, each lasting eight minutes and consisting of five questions.
The first round consisted of arranging dominos in a certain way so that they all fitted together and the numbers all matched. My son and his partner got full marks. Each time the points were squared – so if you got five out of five you got 25 points, four out of five was 16, three out of five was nine etc.
They got full marks on the second round too – something involving complex shapes. On the third round they got three out of five, so only nine points. They only dropped points in one other round – where they got four out of five, or 16 points. Apart from that, it was full marks all the way.
And still he strung his story out…
The runners up were announced for both competitions. It wasn’t them. Then the winner was announced for the other competition. And FINALLY they announced the winner for their competition.
It was them.
And their score was considerably higher than the winning team in the other competition.
Overall winners. Out of some seriously clever kids.
AND they beat the posh kids. I did a special air punch just for that. I don’t know why, I just like to beat the private school kids.
Once again, I was very proud of my maths wizard. And he was particularly pleased because he won a scientific calculator for his efforts.
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