The pressure mounts, the lights dim and you are alone in the big black chair to answer quick-fire Maths questions against the clock – and in front of the whole school.
A tough challenge but contestants at Chilton Primary School in Ramsgate demonstrated their quick-thinking and determination in the Maths Mastermind competition that is a part of the school’s calendar.
With the stop watch set at one minute, Deputy Head of School Natalie Barrow put pupils through a range of questions to see who could triumph in the times tables test.
Pupils in each class from Years 3 to 6 had selected their champion using the same competition rules as the final, which was held in assembly with pupils, parents and staff making up the audience.
Finally, the scores were added up and the results were declared to cheers from the hall. Renas was crowned champ with 37 correct answers in 60 seconds, narrowly ahead of runner up Ethan with 33 and Lucy with 32.
A high standard was reached by all who took part. Renas was presented with a £10 voucher, and £5 vouchers went to Ethan and Lucy, with all competitors receiving a commemorative certificate for their efforts.
Winner Renas said: “I really enjoyed it”, while Lucy added: “It was quite tough sitting in the big chair answering questions but it all went so quickly and you had to think fast.”
Miss Barrow said: “It is pretty nerve-wracking performing against the clock with everyone looking on. It takes a lot of determination and concentration and I am not sure some of the teachers would have the nerve to do that.
“It was a very close competition with not many points separating all the contestants. We are extremely proud of their achievements.”
The event is designed to promote children’s recall of times tables and multiplication facts – key to many areas of mathematical success.
Weekly class competitions are held enabling children to achieve bronze, silver, gold, diamond and platinum level for how many questions they can answer correctly in one minute. They collect reward badges as they go through the levels.
Maths Mastermind is held three times each school year and the next challenge is in the spring.