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Maths maestros are off to the finals

Posted: 06 March 2023

Maths students from West Nottinghamshire College have shown their prowess with numbers and are off to a national competition's regional final this month.

All students participated in the preliminary rounds in the intra-college Mathematics Education Innovation (MEI) FE Maths Challenge in December. Up to fifty students participated in the college final at the end of February – a competition designed for post 16 students who are working towards gaining a Functional Skills maths qualification or improving their GCSE maths grade.

This highly successful way of engaging and motivating students with maths, results in improved student confidence and engagement through the development of maths problem solving skills and is open to any student aged 16 to 19 who has not yet achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE maths and is enrolled at a school or college who is involved with the FE Maths Challenge.

The West Notts students were split into the three categories aimed at different abilities. There were The Funkies, Ein2steins and team Go Forth all competing throughout the day on Wednesday (22 February).

The competition took place at the end of February and saw students take part in a range of Kahoot quizzes and Tarsia jigsaw puzzles. A Tarsia puzzle is a jigsaw or domino activity which contains questions and answers on different side which the student has to match up.

Congratulations go to six students across the groups who will now go on to compete in the regional finals on 13 March at the Mattoli Woods Welford Road stadium in Leicester, which is the home to Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, to compete with other students from colleges and schools in the region.

The winning pairs of students were Finn Maguire from carpentry and Tyler Leah from brickwork, who won in the The Funkies group. Callum Down and Adam Page from the computer science department won the Ein2steins challenge, and Anais Anthony and Mae Barker from the animal care team won the Go Forth challenge. 

Runners up Caroline Moor and C J Williams from plastering, Natasha Faith in animal care, Tommy Barlow in carpentry and Josh Roberts in plumbing were congratulated with certificates for competing in the challenge.

Head of the maths department Sally Drury said: “We saw a great turn-out from our students in the maths challenge. It really is a successful way of engaging and motivating students with maths and helps them to overcome barriers with complex problems in this subject.

“We saw a number of students gradually improve their confidence and engagement through this interactive way of learning and competing. It is definitely something that we aim to repeat at West Notts. We’re really looking forward to next week and seeing how well our winners fare in the regional competition.”

The competition is culminating in regional finals held in colleges, sports stadiums and in London, where it is expected that more than 40 teams will compete at Goldsmith University Great Hall.

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