JAY CRONAN

Alstonville kids top in maths comp

WHAT do clever kids do for fun?

They jump out of bed at 4am and begin their day by competing online in international maths competitions.

At least that’s what some of the pupils at AlstonvillePublic School get up to.

The school’s class 5/6W has been placed first in Australia in the World Maths Day competition held on March 3.

More than a million students from some 56,000 schools in 235 countries took part.

Class 5/6W finished the best in Australia out of all primary and secondary schools, and ranked 19th in the world.

“The tension in the competition just built and built,” 11-year-old Sean Gallagher said.

“It might seem a bit like work, but it’s really fun, and the fun is in competing,” 10-year-old Emily McEwan said.

The students took part in close to 500 one-minute bursts of questions, which got harder in each session.

“You get to verse (challenge) people from all over the world,” 11-year-old Jacqueline Mountford said.

“I didn’t like the easy questions at the start, but as it progressed it did get more interesting,” 11-year-old Will Cashman said.

“And it’s easier than classwork,” 10-year-old Samuel Limpenny-Fawcett said.

Class teacher David Wright said because of the international time zones the competition ran for 24 hours.

He said some students did opt to get up in the early hours of the morning so their class wouldn’t fall behind.

“You could log on and be facing someone from America or Estonia,” he said.

During the competition 450 million maths questions were asked.

Class 5/6W at Alstonville Public is one of only two classes run for gifted and talented primary school students on the North Coast.

Only students who succeed in the state’s selective schools test, are eligible for a place.

The maths competition was open to nine to 13-year-olds.

High achievers from Alstonville included Andrew Entwistle, who was placed 88th in the world.

In one heat Andrew got 71 correct answers in a minute.

In all he answered 23,680 correct answers.

Second in the class was Will Cashman with 18,233 correct answers. Sean Gallagher was third with 15,156 answers and Lucy Andrew was fourth with 14,761 answers.



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