Friday 15th June saw 4 Year 8 students attend an Inter-Schools Maths Quiz at the UEA. Held in the Enterprise building at the UEA, Northgate’s team of Jimmy, Barney, Lauren and Ronni were up against 18 other teams from across Norfolk. Before the competition there was a quick tour of the campus and a visit to the School of Mathematics. When we arrived at the Enterprise building we met the team from Neatherd – we always look forward to competing against them!


For the first stage of the competition, teams were split into different rooms. Northgate were up against Lynn Grove and Sir John Leman. Barney was nominated as the team captain and was in charge of giving all of the answers.

The first round involved being shown a picture of a trapezium. Teams had to estimate various lengths and angles, giving answers in turn, the closest scoring 3 points, down to 1 point for the furthest away. This was a very strong round for our team who scored a total of 14 points out of a possible 18. The second round was an individual round called ‘brain chains’. Each member of the team was given a separate calculation and they had only 2 minutes to complete as much as they could. For example:

Start with 45, multiply by 5/9, square root, multiply by 12, increase by 60%, divide by 8, add 144 etc

This round was certainly more challenging due to the time constraint however saw us gain a further 9.5 marks out of 14. There was also a bonus calculation which was speedily answered by Barney, gaining an extra 2 points!



The final round was a group round consisting of two tasks. The first was to use 4 fives and any of the operations +, -, x, / or brackets to create the numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 15 and 16. See if you can have a go (answers are at the bottom). The second task involved two diagrams with missing angles. They had to use the information given to work out the remaining angles. All 9 marks were gained in the angles questions and a solid 3 in the first task.

Professor Mark Cooker, who was the question master in our room, read out the overall scores. Out of a possible 47 points including the bonus question, both Lynn Grove and Sir John Leman finished on 30 points, whilst Team Northgate finished on 37.5 points. This gave the team a lot of confidence going into the break.

After a quick break we were once again assigned to new rooms, this time with Langley and Benjamin Britten. First up was an individual round consisting of questions related to equations. It turned out to be a strong round for Langley scoring 8 points, however we finished with a respectable 5 points. Round two was a team round and involved completing 5 ken ken puzzles of different sizes (if you haven’t seen a ken ken puzzle before, look it up – they are quite addictive). There were 18 points on offer in this round and a time limit of 10 minutes. Northgate finished with 6 minutes to spare and gained all 18 points! Both of the other schools also gained maximum marks in this round.

The final round was once again an individual round. Students were given two pieces of dotty paper with a shape drawn on them and had to find the area of the shape. One was easier than the other and therefore different points were awarded. There were a total of 12 marks available for this round, Langley gained 9, Benjamin Britten scored 0 and Northgate scored 5 (this was not our favourite round). Professor Shaun Stevens, Head of the School of Mathematics at the UEA, then told teams of a quick way to figure out the solutions using Pick’s Theorem. It was time for the scores: Benjamin Britten finished on 25/43, Northgate on 28 and Langley on 35.

We headed back to the main lecture theatre to see how we had faired against all of the other teams. We knew we had done fairly well with a total score of 65.5/90 but the competition was tough. After the two stages the results were as follows:

1st: Wymondham High School

2nd: Attleborough High School + City of Norwich School

4th: Hethersett High School

5th: Northgate High School!

Although just missing out on the last round of 3 three teams to be in with a chance of winning the whole competition Team Northgate did amazingly well and came 5th. We managed to beat some good schools. A huge congratulations to Jimmy, Ronni, Lauren and Barney, they were incredibly enthusiastic and did a fantastic job representing Northgate – Miss Theobald was certainly very proud of their performance. They really enjoyed the competition.

A big thank you to Mr Emmerson for driving the mini bus and Miss Theobald for organising the trip.