Royal Wootton Bassett pupils rise to maths challenge

By Barrie Hudson - 4 April 2022

  • Noremarsh Junior School maths stars, from left, Sasha Young, Samuel Hill, Victoria Richardson & Zac Powell with Maths Lead Mrs Michelle Card

    Noremarsh Junior School maths stars, from left, Sasha Young, Samuel Hill, Victoria Richardson & Zac Powell with Maths Lead Mrs Michelle Card

Pupils of Royal Wootton Bassett Academy and Noremarsh Junior School have proven their maths skills in a special event.

The beginning of the year saw trustees from Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust throw down the gauntlet to pupils by setting a Mathematics challenge based on the curious date, 22 February 2022 - or 22/2/22. 

Pupils were asked to generate a series of numbers, starting from one, using mathematical formulae, but only using the five 2s in the date, for each calculation.

The problem created plenty of interest among pupils, staff and even some parents. How high could the pupils go? 

Chair of Trustees Nathan Coombs said: “This Maths challenge has really fired the imagination of our pupils in our primary schools, but also really stretched the advanced mathematicians in our sixth forms. The first few numbers were quite straightforward but solutions after 26 became a little more involved.

“It has been exciting to hear of conversations even carrying on at home and hope this will deepen a love of mathematics for some.”

After a month or so of head scratching, and by using the heads of Mathematics of each school as adjudicators, Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust announced that the overall winner was Year 10 student Oscar Graham Eld from Royal Wootton Bassett Academy. He used a combination of high-level trigonometric functions to reach 118.

Pupils at Noremarsh Junior School were set the challenge over the half term, with over 20 pupils deciding to take part.

Year 3 pupil Sasha Young said: “I used square root which I hadn’t done before.”

Victoria Richardson of Year 5 said: “How you can make so many different patterns with numbers? I really enjoyed it.”

Pupils from every school run by the trust, which also includes The Wellington Academy, Kingsbury Green Academy and Wellington Lions Primary, produced solutions showing creativity and tenacity in deriving from just five digits. 

All winners were awarded their certificates and Book tokens.

Trust CEO George Croxford said: “It is great that our Chair of Trustees has set a challenge which has gripped so many students across all our seven schools. I am sure the students are already looking forward to his next challenge!”

Mr Coombs added: “The formulae for some of the answers have been exciting and mind-boggling. Well done to all the pupils who took part in the challenge and congratulations to the superb winners of each school. We know there will be competition among the schools to rise to the top of the leader board next time.

“The Trust will be issuing another challenge before Easter for all the pupils in their schools. Again, this is one that can be attempted and solved by any pupil, but it will require diligence and persistence. Watch this space!”

The trust's website is 


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