The four pupil team of year 12s Alex Yan, Swasthi Surendran and Sonya Kalsi with year 13 Soumya Krishna-Kumar as their captain faced a large, competitive and strong field of thirty six other schools and the mathematical calibre of the competitors was extremely high.
The Challenge consists of three rounds: the group round where the team works together on questions; crossnumber where the team is split into pairs and solves the puzzle using clues and, finally, a shuttle round where the team works in pairs passing answers back and forth. The Bancroft's team had an extremely strong start, obtaining perfect scores in the first two rounds. In the final round they held onto their 100% record right up until the final five minutes, but their past performance in the Challenge meant they had already done enough to win.
The Challenge provides fantastic enrichment opportunities for the finest young mathematicians nationwide, helping them to develop their teamwork skills whilst being challenged and stimulated by the great range of mathematical problems set. The materials are produced by the UKMT (UK Maths Trust), with the AMSP (Advanced Maths Support Programme) also assisting with the running of the events.
Despite not expecting to win, the Bancroft’s four were elated when they were announced as the winners. This is the first time a Bancroft’s team has won a regional heat in the Senior Team Challenge and they are now looking forward to the national final which will be held at the Royal Horticultural Hall in Central London on 5 February. The winners from each of the 14 regional heats around the UK compete for the national trophy. Bancroft’s Team Captain, Soumya, said, “I really enjoyed both the training sessions and the day itself, and I am excited about competing again in February - the team is particularly strong this year and I look forward to seeing how we perform in the finals.”