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Mathematics Newsletter Articles

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  • Maths Master Class

    Published 25/03/24

    Our Year 9s had the golden opportunity to experience an enlightening Maths Masterclass by guest speaker Michael Fletcher on Thursday 14th March 2024, in conjunction with International Pi Day! Michael captivated minds with real-world applications of probability and game theory, using nostalgic game-shows and humour. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Parents' Association for their invaluable contribution towards nurturing our students' academic growth and fostering a love for learning. 

    Miss Goh, Mathematics Department

    In our recent maths masterclass with Michael, we had the opportunity to explore the fascinating world of game theory! Michael used games reminiscent of those seen on TV, such as ‘Play Your Cards Right’, to illustrate various experiments and scenarios. A highlight was when he asked us to think about the probability of an 8 in the game based on the previous cards — 'higher or lower'! We left the course with a deeper understanding of how maths can improve one's game-playing skills. Michael's enthusiasm and teaching style left us energised and curious to explore the subject further.

    Cédric Mamodesen, Year 9

    In honour of Pi day, my peers and I had the opportunity to hear from Michael Fletcher, who gave us a great maths masterclass! The show was captivating and his ability to combine entertainment with mathematical ideas made the show enjoyable for everyone. Mr Fletcher's passion for maths was obvious in everything from interactive presentations to innovative riddles. My favourite part was definitely when my friend Samit and I, went to the front to play a game inspired by the game show ‘Play Your Cards Right' where we worked together to work out whether a card was going to be higher or lower than the previous one, using probability, and we eventually won, with the help of our classmates. Overall, it was a great experience that we are all thankful for. 

    Yasmin Mofakham, Year 9

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  • Year 10 Maths Feast

    Published 19/03/24

    On Friday 1st March, eight intrepid Year 10 mathematicians headed off to Thomas Tallis school to take part in the “Year 10 Maths Feast” organised by the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme.

    This is a regional competition in which teams of four budding maths prodigies from local schools have to use their technical and teamwork skills to score points. There were four rounds:

    Round 1 - "TV Quizzes"
    Round 2 - "Calculator Cross-Number"
    Round 3 - "Mad Hatters"
    Round 4 - "Cubes and Rhombic Dodecahedra"

    The questions were tough, and I’m very proud of the way our students applied themselves and learnt how to work together. The team spirit was wonderful, and the results reflect this: “BGS Team B” came fourth, and “BGS Team A” won the competition overall.

    The participants were Ashna Adhikari 10YMS, Caleb McCann 10DCC, Charlie Furlong 10DCC, Lev Griffin 10CPB, Lukas Schreiner 10VLT, Naima Mendjeli 10PDH, Ritadyumna Jinka 10VLT, and Urav Sirohi 10PDH.

    We were also very ably supported by Malin Karasimov 13KSK, who kindly offered to help add up the scores.

    All in all, an excellent day; the only mildly disappointing aspect being that, despite the name of the event, the food on offer was limited to tea and (non-chocolate) biscuits.

    Mr Male, Maths Department

    The Maths Feast was great! In teams, we solved a series of maths questions in three hours. We had one round of a crossword (but they were numbers, not words) and another consisting of logic, so it wasn't just maths that we did. Another round consisted of constructing a cube and dodecahedron out of paper and tape (see photo), which made sure the “feast” was a bit hands-on too. I would definitely do this again and massive thanks to Mr Male and Malin for giving up their time for us to do this!

    Even better, WE CAME FIRST!

    Ashna Adhikari, Year 10

    The trip was a great opportunity and was a lot of fun. There was a wide variety of Maths questions. My personal favourite was the construction of an Origami dodecahedron and an unusual-looking cube. We used twelve pieces of A6 paper and some sellotape. They were made to mathematical perfection, and we scored full marks for them. Another favourite of mine were the logic questions. They made our entire team think. One round was about combinations of hats three people could wear while complying with two rather basic rules. However basic the rules, the questions did get more complicated but we did as team solve them successfully eventually.

    Personally, I was delighted by the fact that we won, which made the trip very worthwhile, and I would certainly recommend this to the next Year 10s. I am very thankful to Mr Male and the Sixth Former Malin for taking the time to organise and conduct this trip.

    Urav Sirohi, Year 10

    It was heartening to see the students’ enthusiastic attitude to mathematics, and great to see their mathematical skills nurtured as they solved the challenges. They certainly showcased their exceptional mathematical prowess in their collaborative efforts to tackle some quite complicated tasks. Congratulations to the young mathmos* for their superb victory.

    Malin Karasimov, Year 13

    * “mathmo” is an affectionate slang term used to describe a talented young mathematician.

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  • UKMT Intermediate Mathematical Challenge

    Published 31/03/22

    The Intermediate Mathematical Challenge (IMC) is a 60-minute, multiple-choice online Challenge which takes part once per year.

    It encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems which are designed to make students think.  At BGS we invite students in Year 11 to take part in this competition.

    One of this year’s IMC questions was:

    The solution is at the end of this article.


    This year at the beginning of February we had 21 students take part in the IMC and we had some amazing results including 8 Gold certificates, 9 Silver certificates and 3 Bronze certificates.

    Five students with Gold certificates took part in the follow-up competition, the Pink Kangaroo. Massive congratulations to Max Jansen and Edgar Fedorcenko who achieved certificates of Merit - this means they were in the top 25% of participants in the Pink Kangaroo across the country (and the top 2 of all participants in the IMC).   Nazar Androshchuk had the best IMC results in the school and did well enough to be invited to take part in the Maclaurin Olympiad (an even more exclusive competition than the Pink Kangaroo!) We are still awaiting results from this, but just to be invited to take part in the Olympiad is an amazing achievement!

    Mr Whittaker, Mathematics Department


    As a student who enjoys maths a lot, the UKMT maths challenge was an amazing opportunity for me to test my knowledge. This challenge allowed me to apply my mathematical and reasoning skills to thought-provoking questions outside my GCSE curriculum. I thoroughly enjoyed practising (although some questions took me longer to answer). I am eagerly looking forward to participating in the future challenges as well and my profound regards to the organisers for giving this opportunity to me.

    Sai Shinjitha Maganti, Year 11


    The experience was quite novel as it was online. Although there were easier questions and those similar to GCSEs, towards the end definitely challenged thinking and involved deeper mathematical understanding. Overall, it was an enriching experience, and I would encourage others to try it out.

    Kalyani Vishnu, Year 11


    The UK Maths Challenge was personally an exciting experience for me. I faced a lot of difficult questions and I think it helped me develop my understanding of mathematics even more.

    Pranshu Sheel, Year 11



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