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UK Primary Maths Challenge

(17 Posts)
S999 Sat 26-Nov-16 10:36:55

Hi there

My DS is very strong in Maths and top of her class but recently in the UK Primary Maths Challenge, she didn't even score a Bronze certificate! Are these certificates handed out in batches or is it the school who decides? One of the pupils scored very low but received a Bronze.
Please could someone tell me how this works!
Many thanks

scaevola Sat 26-Nov-16 10:47:23

Certificates would normally be given out together.

It's the UKMT (UK Maths Trust, who run the competition across all schools) who decide the boundary marks.

If the school is giving out certificates to those who did not reach the qualifying mark, they are acting incorrectly.

scaevola Sat 26-Nov-16 10:49:32

Info on how the Challenge works (or at least should work) here:

noblegiraffe Sat 26-Nov-16 11:29:12

The Primary Maths Challenge is organised by the Mathematical Association not the UKMT and works differently.

It is the intention that teachers decide how the certificates be awarded. One gold, two silver and three bronze certificates are provided in each pack, and a photocopiable 'Took the Challenge' certificate is provided for everyone else. Decisions are therefore an 'in-school' task. The spirit of the PMC is that, in each school, there will be a number of gold, silver and bronze pupils who deserve certificates!

This is so that schools get the same proportion of certificate winners no matter how able or not their students are. I'm not sure they're meant to give certificates to students who didn't do well in their school.

Grizzer Sat 26-Nov-16 11:45:00

It's the school who decides on certificates. We've just done it in my school. It varies year on year but this year the scores were 18+ gold, 15-17 silver & 14 bronze. I have some very good mathematicians who didn't score well in the challenge. It's quite wordy so some find it hard. They only have 45 mins to complete it which is another factor that some children struggle with.
How do you know the score of the other child?
The first 20 questions are multiple choice so maybe they just guessed well!

Grizzer Sat 26-Nov-16 11:48:23

I also don't give out the 'took the challenge' certificates because all year 5 & 6 take it & I don't think they need a certificate for every thing they are asked to do.

scaevola Sat 26-Nov-16 12:03:39

Sorry and ignore me!

I didn't realise there were two competitions with such similar names.

Toomanycats99 Sat 26-Nov-16 12:10:08

My dd is y5 and came home yesterday with a bronze certificate. In her year there were 5/6 bronze and 1/2 gold I think. Y6 had couple gold and few silver / bronze I think.

S999 Sat 26-Nov-16 14:23:53

There were those who received certificates who scored much lower than those thresholds.
So am i right in thinking all schools are given only a set number of certificates even if some children scored highly?

noblegiraffe Sat 26-Nov-16 14:33:17

The school is given a set number of certificates per 10 pupils entered and they set their own boundaries for who gets which certificate.

S999 Sat 26-Nov-16 17:20:57

But if there were more than 10 pupils, in my case, entire year 5 and 6, the school just chooses the pupils they want to get the certificate?

noblegiraffe Sat 26-Nov-16 17:31:20

The papers are sent in packs of 10, each pack comes with certificates, as far as I can tell.

JustRichmal Sat 26-Nov-16 22:13:31

The questions in the primary maths challenge are more problems to puzzle than just reproducing the maths they have learnt.
The Junior, intermediate and senior maths challenges,, as mentioned earlier, are run by the UKMT rather than the Mathematical association and aimed at secondary age children. They are the same sort of puzzle questions though.
Dd likes doing these sort of tests, but the results she gets are very variable. Sometimes she does great, sometimes not very good. I would encourage your dd just to see them as fun and not a measure of her mathematical ability.

GHGN Sun 27-Nov-16 09:41:00

UKMT Maths challenges' questions are not puzzles though. They are dressed up as such but there are four underlying themes: Algebra, Number Theory, Geometry and Combinatorics. The problem is three of these four are not taught explicitly in the UK Maths curriculum, maybe a bit here and there. That's why pupils who might be good in the normal Maths do badly in this or the other way round. Hence they should only do it for a bit of fun, enjoyment and challenge.

I quite like the way the UKMT do it. It is fun enough for most pupils to take part in the normal challenges but serious enough in the later round to vet candidates for the UK team. Some countries make this selection process serious from the very first round and put a lot of pupils off.

S999 Mon 28-Nov-16 06:01:08

I think it sounds that in our case the school was given a certain number of certificates and chose certain pupils, based on whatever criteria they have.

JustRichmal Mon 28-Nov-16 08:05:35

If she did do really well and was one of the top scorers of all who took the test. she could be invited for the bonus round, so it is perhaps worth enquiring what her score was. If 19 or over, ask your school if she will do this.

ameliesfabulousdestiny1 Mon 28-Nov-16 15:34:11

Her being top of the class is unlikely to count for the certificate. If I understand correctly, it should be based on how pupils perform in the Challenge, and not everyone gets a certificate. If her score was high, you could always check with her teacher. Mistakes can happen!

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