Some of our budding mathematicians recently took part in the  Junior Mathematical Challenge (JMC), run by the UK Mathematics Trust. 14 Year 7 and 17 Year 8 pupils took part completing papers that will be sent off to the University of Leeds to be marked by computers. Pupils can expect their results in two to three weeks time.

The JMC encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems. The problems on the JMC are designed to make students think. Most are accessible yet still challenge those with more experience; they are also meant to be memorable and enjoyable.

Mathematics controls more aspects of the modern world than most people realise – from iPods, cash machines, telecommunications and airline booking systems to production processes in engineering, efficient distribution and stock-holding, investment strategies and ‘whispering’ jet engines. The scientific and industrial revolutions flowed from the realisation that mathematics was both the language of nature, and also a way of analysing – and hence controlling – our environment.

In the last fifty years, old and new applications of mathematical ideas have transformed the way we live. All these developments depend on mathematical thinking – a mode of thought whose essential style is far more permanent than the wave of technological change which it has made possible. The problems on the JMC reflect this style, which pervades all mathematics, by encouraging students to think clearly about challenging problems.

In each recent year the JMC has had over 315,000 entries from around 4000 schools. Gold, Silver and Bronze Certificates are awarded to the highest scoring 40% of candidates in the ratio 1:2:3 and these will be distributed in due course.

Answer papers are sent off to the University of Leeds and marked by computer; results will be sent back in 3 weeks or so.

The results are in!
5 Gold certificates, 5 Silver and 5 Bronze. Two pupils qualified for the Junior Kangaroo, usually around the top 8000 participants, and one has been invited to take part in the Junior Mathematical Olympiad, which is only sat by the top 1200 entrants. Fantastic result well done to all our mathematicians!