Young maths pupils shine at advanced-level contest

Ben Thimbleby from Wykeham House School Boys' School with Professor Tim Sluckin at the awards ceremony for the University of Southampton
Ben Thimbleby from Wykeham House School Boys' School with Professor Tim Sluckin at the awards ceremony for the University of Southampton
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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TWO enthusiastic young mathematicians have excelled in a competition designed for much older students.

Ben Thimbleby from Wykeham House School Boys’ School won third place in the University of Southampton Mathematics Challenge.

Zak Crane-Whatmore also took part in the challenge, which uses material usually reserved for a more advanced level.

The competition had more than 1,400 entries this year from all over the south and is aimed at pupils from Years 7 and 8. Both Zak and Ben are in Year 5.

Entrants have to produce full written solutions to eight problems.

The maths involved was challenging and included topics that are not usually covered until GCSE level.

The questions were themed around the works of Lewis Carroll as 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of his much-loved children’s story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Both Zak and Ben worked hard over February half-term to find solutions to each of the eight problems they were given as part of the challenge.

Ben was invited to a ceremony at the university to receive his award for winning third place.

Lynn Clarke, headmistress of Wykeham House, said: ‘This was a very tough competition.

‘Both the boys should be extremely proud of themselves for entering and working so hard.

‘The university staff, who marked their work, were amazed to discover that the boys were only in Year 5.

‘Well done boys, and to Mrs Savage for teaching them and encouraging them to enter.’