It’s been 3 year since we have been able to enter a group of students into the Advanced Maths Support Programme Year 10 Maths Feast competition, after the last competition was cancelled just before we went into lockdown. It was so nice to be back competing against other schools. Our team comprised of Emma, Milo, Zach and Joschka, who all attended practice sessions in advance of the competition along with reserves Alyssa, Callum and Dexter.
We headed off to City of Norwich School, not knowing what type of challenges we may face, nervous but ready to compete. There were 16 teams in total – a great showing from lots of schools in Norfolk. Before we got started, Ian Clarke, AMSP Area Coordinator for Norfolk, talked about opportunities in Maths beyond GCSE and how having further qualifications in Maths can really be of benefit, particularly in the skills learnt along the way.
Then it was time for the competition to begin. The first round was called ‘What, no word!’ and involved diagrams, shapes and all sorts of problems with no words or instructions. The team soon got into their rhythm and separated the problems between them, carefully completing and checking each other’s work for mistakes. This was a great start for Team Northgate, scoring a fantastic 36 out of 40.
Round 2 was called ‘Four for Fifty’, basically four problems with questions related to them and fifty marks were available. Again, our team showed real determination, working independently at first and then more collaboratively when it got more challenging. A very respectable score of 40 marks was achieved, although the team were a little disappointed with this.
The third round was called ‘Comprehension Card Sort’ and consisted of some information which the team had to use in order to sort sets of cards. This round really tested special awareness and geometry and proved tough for some. Team Northgate, again, scored extremely well with 20 out of 23 marks!
The final round was the most intense and high pressured. Working in pairs, one pair answered a question and passed the answer to the other pair. They then used this in their problem and passed the resulting answer back. This continued for 16 questions, with the opportunity to gain bonus points for each string of 4 questions in a row that were correct. Miss Theobald was particularly impressed with some of the skills on display in this round and a score of 17 out of 20 was achieved!
So, overall, Team Northgate scored 113/133. Ian commented that this was the highest scoring Maths Feast competition he’d been to this year and so the competition was clearly tough. All team members received a certificate of participation, however we were really pleased to be one of the teams who also received a special certificate for scoring highly in all rounds. Overall, Northgate finished 5th. We were really pleased with the result – well done to all the team members.
A big thank you to City of Norwich School for hosting the event and to the AMSP for organising it. We look forward to taking part again next year!
Members of our Northgate News Team have decided to find out a bit more about staff at Northgate. Emma, Year 10, met with Mrs Rae, who joined the Modern Foreign Languages Department back in January, for a quick chat.
1. Which country are you originally from?
I am originally from England – based in Norwich.
2. When did you first start to fall in love with French/France?
It started when I was at school. I was taught French in an English school in France, and I enjoyed it a lot then.
3. How long did you live in France for?
I lived in France for 4 years, came back home, then travelled to the south of France for a year.
4. What were your professions there?
I finished my degree in the UK, then moved back to France to live in Paris and worked for an Investment Bank.
5. Would you recommend studying a language GCSE and why?
Definitely! It improves thinking, communication and problem-solving at the same time. It introduces you to other cultures, opens more doors for travelling and living abroad. Also, statistically, in some jobs you will likely not only be put ahead of those who have not studied languages, but you also could be offered a higher salary having a language degree.
6. Where did you get your teaching degree?
7. Why did you choose to teach at Northgate?
I currently also teach part time at Reading University, but liked the type of environment Northgate has, with a good ethos of teaching and learning. I also really liked the idea of the learning cycle – I think it’s a great idea.
8. What is your favourite restaurant?
A restaurant called ‘Benoli’, which is an Italian restaurant in Norwich.
Thank you to Mrs Rae for taking the time to answer these questions. It’s great to find out a bit more about our staff, their teaching backgrounds and why they are so passionate about their subjects.