Two teams of Year 9 students headed to City of Norwich School on Tuesday 5th July to compete in the Year 9 Summer Snack Maths competition. This is the first time the competition has been held since the pandemic and is based on the Year 10 Maths Feast, organised by the Advanced Maths Support Programme.

The weeks prior to the competition saw the two teams get together at lunch times, along with reserves, to prepare and practice possible rounds for the day. Already there was an air of competitive spirit with one team made up of students from 9Archimedes and the other from 9Newton.

The day came and there were some nerves to begin with. Josh, Nathan, Poppi and Ewan made up Team Archimedes whilst Amy, Chris, Emmanuel and Ollie made up Team Newton. There were teams from a number of other schools including Wymondham College, CNS, Diss, Thorpe, Thetford, Hellesdon and Framingham Earl.                            .

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. This round seemed a bit odd to begin with but the teams soon got the hang of what they needed to do. They distributed the problems between them and carefully checked each other’s work for mistakes. It was a positive start for both teams with 9Arc scoring 20 out of 40 and 9New taking a slight lead on 32 marks.

Round 2 was called ‘Four for Fifty’, which consisted of four problems with questions related to them and fifty marks were available. One problem was rather aptly related to tennis and was a high scorer for both teams. All our competitors showed excellent determination, working on tasks individually and then more collaboratively when it got more challenging. There were some tough questions here however both teams showed real resilience, with 9Arc scoring 33 and 9New scoring 22 out of 50.

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 tests students on some Maths that they had not come across before. With some good team work (and a bit of luck) they had a good go at the challenge. 9Arc scored a high 18 marks out of 23 and 9New scored 19.

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. This round was also against the clock and so quick but accurate work was important. Again, there was some unfamiliar Maths in this round but once more, the determination shone through. 9Arc managed a very respectable 17 out of 20, whilst 9New scored 11.

Overall, Team 9Arc triumphed over 9New and managed to come 8th overall in a really close scoring contest for a number of the teams. Huge congratulations go to all of our competitors as this was exactly the same competition as the Year 10s had completed earlier in the year and so the standard of Maths involved was very high!

Miss Theobald said, ‘it was great to see the team work and collaborative thinking on display, with both teams working incredibly hard on all of the challenges. There were some aspects of Maths that they had not seen before, however this did not phase them and they showed true Northgate resilience. They demonstrated commitment both in the run up to the event, attending 3 practice sessions, and at the Summer Snack itself.’

It was certainly a very enjoyable competition and hopefully inspired our students to think about their mathematical learning in the future and consider studying A-level Maths and Further Maths. A big thank you to CNS for hosting the event and the Advanced Maths Support Programme for the challenging but enjoyable rounds. We look forward to taking part again next year!

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