‘Mathematical prowess’ put to the test as Barking school takes part in national competition

L to R: Cranbrook Primary School's Tayibah Mahmud, Eman Noor, Yunus Islam and Ishtarth Katageri. Pic

L to R: Cranbrook Primary School's Tayibah Mahmud, Eman Noor, Yunus Islam and Ishtarth Katageri. Picture: Explore Learning - Credit: Explore Learning

Budding brainiacs from east London primary schools headed to Barking for a national maths competition.

Four pupils from Manor Junior School in Sandringham Road, Barking, faced off with rivals from Chigwell, Newham and Ilford at the regional finals of the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards on Wednesday.

They were competing in the regional finals at the Explore Learning centre in Rathbone Market, Barking Road.

Winners Cranbrook Primary School are now swotting up for a place in next week’s grand final at Cambridge University.

Teammates from the Drive, Ilford school Yunus Islam, Ishtarth Katageri, Tayibah Mahmud and Eman Noor were praised for their team work, mathematical thinking and “systematic working”.

“The competition really steps up a gear at this stage, and the teams who have made it this far should be very proud indeed,” said Charlotte Gater of private tuition company Explore Learning, which runs the awards.

“We saw some fantastic demonstrations of team work and mathematical prowess up and down the country but only the very best will make it to the grand final.”

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The annual event, organised by Explore and Cambridge University’s NRICH Project, is open primary schools from across the UK.

Organisers said more than 700 schools competed in this year’s competition, only half of whom made it to the regional finals.

Of the 100 or so regional winners, just five will make it through to the final stage.

“I’ve heard from so many kids who have taken part in the past and they’ve all loved it and come away feeling very proud of themselves,” said author and TV presenter Kjartan Poskitt, ambassador for this year’s awards.

He added: “Nothing beats the feeling of getting an answer right.”

The Cranbrook team could each take home prizes including a toy robot worth nearly £150 and signed books from Poskitt if successful - and treat their classmates to a trip to Westfield’s kid-run city Kidzaina.

Other schools competing in the regional final were: Vicarage Primary School in Newham, Apex Primary School and Fullwood Primary School, both in Ilford, and Chigwell’s Manford Primary School.

Previous national champions include Bilton Junior School in Rugby and Badger Hill Primary, York.