Following on from the success of the inaugural Oundle Mathematical Enrichment Conference for Year 9 and 10 pupils over the summer, ten schools from East Northants and Peterborough attended a mathematics event for pupils in Years 7 and 8 presented by the Thomas Deacon Education Trust (TDET) and Oundle School.
The eighty pupils who attended were guided through a variety of stimulating practical problems to uncover the mathematics behind them, including the famous Towers of Hanoi problem presented by Oundle School Maths teacher, Richard Atkins. Richard has trained UK National Mathematics teams in the past and is the recipient of a lifetime service award from the UK Mathematics Trust.
Mo Ladak from the Thomas Deacon Academy, a well-known name in local mathematical circles, led a session where pupils completed the first stages of a proof of Fermat’s 2 Squares Theorem. For many, this was their first step into this important mathematical concept and helped to push the boundaries of their experience.
Accompanying teachers took part in a training session led by Rachel Rayner (Essential Mathematics) on the Bar Modelling Method. Her session was thought provoking, practical and very well received by the teachers who also had an opportunity to meet and discuss recent undertakings within the departments of their schools and to share best practice, as well as observing some of the pupil sessions.
The event finished with a circus of activities where schools competed against each other on some practical but taxing mathematical logic problems. The standard of pupils’ mathematics was very high from all participating schools but ultimately Uppingham Community College were the winners, closely followed by Prince William School, Oundle and University Academy, Holbeach.
Event organiser, Gordon Montgomery, commented, “We were pleased to be able to run this event and to have ten schools take time out to join us. Oundle’s link with TDET has helped a great deal in making this happen and it demonstrates clearly the benefits of an independent school working in partnership with their neighbouring schools. Visiting teachers commented that ‘the best aspect was just watching the pupils enjoying Mathematics’. We are delighted with how well this event was received and plan to repeat it next year.”
A similar event for primary school pupils (OMEC 5&6) will take place on Tuesday 23 January, presented by Oundle School in partnership with Oundle Church of England.