Mathsmatters 2019 Competition

After a whole term of training, our year 5 and 6 mathematicians headed off to Taupo Intermediate School on Wednesday 18 September for the annual Mathsmatters competition. This is a local contest with teams of three students working together to solve a range of mathematical problems. Wairakei Primary entered 3 teams into each of the year 5 and 6 competitions.

With many of our students being introduced to this competition for the first time, we spent a lot of time focusing on competition strategy, time management and team cooperation. This was in addition to the maths teaching and focus on efficient number strategies that minimise the possibility for error. Students also had to read questions with care and agree with exactly was required to solve the problems.


The year 5s were first up and had forty minutes to answer twenty mathematical word problems.  There was a real mix of excitement and nerves as our students prepared to start. Most teams managed to complete the questions set and were set for an anxious wait while the year 6 students participated in their competition. Wairakei students performed really well with one of our teams (Nick Ross, Donald Ryrie and Fergus Fowler) placing 3rd with an impressive 93 out of a possible 100 points. They were only a single point behind the second-placed team. The other teams finished 7th and 13th. A notable mention should go to Cohen Ludlam who trained all term as our reserve and was there to support the teams on the night. 


Jack Riley and Riley with Cohen in support


Lucy Carly and Layne


Nick Donald and Fergus ready to start

The year 6s followed at 7.30 p.m. and another podium position was achieved. Leroy Walker, William Mortimer and Ollie Wigram secured 2nd place with 82 points out of 100. Our other teams finished 14th and 18th. Thanks go to Donald Ryrie who stepped up to help one of our teams when a team member was unable to make the evening.


Izzy and Jacob with Donald in support


Amelia Chelsy and Delta


Leroy Will and Ollie

The students all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the year 5s are set to give it another go next year. This is a fantastic opportunity to build complex thinking and processing skills. They are using comprehension skills to solve relevant, real-life mathematical problems. This is all done in a team environment where the ability to listen and negotiate is developed.


Silver and bronze medal winners

Some of the students shared their thoughts about the Mathsmatters competition:

Nick -  It was so much fun and I can’t wait for next year. When we first started training we spent too much time trying to work out the questions ourselves. We learnt to work well together. I am really happy with my medal.

Lucy - My team worked really well together but the paper was much harder than the one we did today.

Fergus - We remembered to make sure we didn’t waste too much time on questions and finished before our time was up.

William - I am so glad we didn’t tie again after last year. We thought that when 3rd place was called, that was it. Then they called us out in 2nd place!

Leroy - I am so pleased that we finished 2nd - I beat my brother’s 3rd place!

Keywords: problem-solving, team-work

Izzy and Jacob with Donald in support