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Numbers add up for RGS: 5s to 12s sweep maths comp

10th May 2019

It’s the first time any school has won every grade in the local Maths Team Challenge, held at Glenmore State High School this month. Results show teams from The Rockhampton Grammar School, from Years 5 to 12, each earned first places in the annual competition presented by the Queensland Association of Maths Teachers.

Good preparation, habits, mindfulness, a passion for maths and strong abilities were required, according to the 450 students from nine schools who participated in the four-day event.

“It is so important to have an event like this.  It channels the enthusiasm and abilities of our brightest young mathematicians and it is a great motivation and focus for us,” said RGS Extension Teacher (Primary), Mrs Sally Moran.

RGS students usually achieve high marks in the regular inter-school event. A scheduling change which moved the competition slightly forward this year may have given students a boost, according to RGS Head of Mathematics, Ms Persephone Cook.

“They were able to prepare more fully and work more closely on their drills and skills,” Ms Cook explained.

 “Students worked together to solve questions that they don’t often encounter within the regular coursework. Their excitement, interest, determination and fervour were some of the reasons why they performed so well,” added Ms Cooke.

Year 12 student James Vandeleur has done every Maths Team Challenge since Year 5 and has been on winning teams before, but it was the first time he’d won the Competition’s individual student Shoot-out Round.

“The Challenge is different.  It feels similar to doing a puzzle in a magazine; it’s fun,” said The Rex Boggs Medal winner, who plans to study physics at university next year.

Year 5 student Sophie Wright said the best part of the competition was the relay.

“You run around and around doing maths as fast as you can.” 

Five-year Challenge veteran and Year 11 student, Sansuka De Silva, is very appreciative the support he and his friends have from their teachers, such as Ms Alex Argos, who helped them prepare.

“What really defines the experience for me is the satisfaction I feel working with like-minded individuals to achieve a common goal. It involves both complex problems and collaboration approach and [has helped me] successfully work in a team environment and share ideas,” Sansuka said.

Winning RGS team members were:

·       Year 5: Neal Dhamsania, Bhavik Bhardwaj, Tosi Adegbija, Ziran Lekha and Shyam Ashokumar.

·       Year 6: Lavin Devaraj, Annie Morrison, Sharvani Ashokumar, Sharika Ashokumar and Ben Hilber

·       Year 7: Alayna Lekha, Mohid Khalil, Isabelle O’Rourke, Brendan Wu and Ella Plumb

·       Year 8: Oliver Dunn, Chris Ilott, Tegbir Sandha, Alain Li and Tim Wiltshire

·       Year 9: William Salmond, George Plumb, Millicent Rayner, Dominique Sleaford and Lily Roopnarinasingh

·       Year 10: Harshitha Peddireddy, Jane Brighton, Cathleen Han, Lachlan Dunn and Margil Rajaji

·       Year 11: Sansuka De Silva, Joel Brighton, Lillie Bain, Rowan Nicholls and Hasee Meegahawattage

·       Year 12: James Vandeleur, Will Etherington, Abhinav Singh, Antonio Vega-Garcia and Jack Moran

Each Year Team had the potential to acquire 360 points:

·       Year 5: RGS Team 1 came first on 293 points; Farmborough came in second place with 194 points; and RGS Team 2 came in third place with 190 points.

·       Year 6: RGS Team 1 came first with 322 points; St Anthony’s came in second with 303 points; and Frenchville came in this with 288 points.

·       Year 7: RGS Team 2 came first on 210 points; RGS Team 1 came second on 162 points; and Heights came thirds on 160 points. RGS’s Medha Khoduri was a member of the Year 7 runner-up Mixed Teams challenge

·       Year 8: RGS Team 1 came first on 263 points; Emerald came second on 239 points; and Emmaus came third on 204 points.

·       Year 9: RGS Team 1 came first on 211 points; Heights came second on 205 points; and TCC came third on 182 points. RGS’s George Plumb was a member of the winning mixed teams event and RGS’s Jaqueline Sleaford was runner up in the Shoot-out competition

·       Year 10: RGS Team 1 came first on 300 points (maximum of 360 points possible); Heights came second on 222 points; and Emmaus came third on 207 points. Mikaela Klopper was a member of the winning mixed-teams event and Harshitha Peddireddy was the winner of the shoot-out competition

·       Year 11: RGS Team 1 came first on 261 points; RGS Team 2 came second on 240 points; and Heights came third on 189 points. RGS’s Lachlan Johnson was the winner of the Year 11 shoot-out competition.

·       Year 12: RGS Team 1 came first on 275 points; RGS Team 2 came second on 216 points; and Emerald came third on 206 points. RGS’s James Vandeleur was the winner of the Shoot-out competition and the recipient of the Rex Boggs Medal

Participants competed in five rounds, as individuals and in teams, first covering Mental Maths (where they answer 20 questions in three minutes without the aid of a calculator).  In the second round, teams answer 25 problem-solving questions. After that, students from different schools form groups to work on a set of harder problem- solving questions (round three). In round four these same groups answer an ‘estimation question’.  In the fifth round all students compete individually in what’s known as the Shoot-Out, responding verbally to questions until the last person standing wins each year level.

In addition to RGS Years 5 and 6 winners were participants: Bennett Reilly, Vikram Chauhan, Sophie Wright, Anya Broadbent, Siyuan Liu, Caden Mahon, Emerald Maddy, Alexander Connell, Toby Rowland and Riley McDonald

Secondary students are listed, right.:

 Can you solve a primary school year-level question?

Q: A 4x4 grid is made using 40 matches as shown. How many matches are needed to construct a 10x10 grid?


A: 220 matches


Back row: William Salmond (Year 9), James Vandeleur (Year 12), Sansuka De Silva (Year 11, Alain Li (Year 8); Front row: Harshitha Peddireddy (Year 10), Sharvani Ashokumar (Year 6), Ziran Lekha (Year 5), Mohid Khalil (Year 7)