Pupils get their maths brains in shape at the Number Partners Challenge 2017 Grand Final at Alesco RMS 

Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership hosted its fifth annual Number Partners Challenge final where top scoring teams from across the borough competed against each other on their hardest maths challenge yet.

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Teams of finalists waited with bated breath as the winners of the Number Partners Challenge 2017 were announced at the end of the Grand Final, hosted by global insurance broker Alesco Risk Management Services (Alesco) on Wednesday 24th May at their offices in the heart of the City on Lombard Street. Out of 66 participating teams from a record 16 Tower Hamlets schools that entered the competition in March, eight teams were invited to the final. After competing in a two hour-long maths challenge live at the final, the self-named ‘Brainiacs’ team from Sir William Burrough Primary were announced as the winners, followed by runners up ‘Three Shooting Stars’ from Woolmore Primary, the school with the winning team last year. To get through to the final, pupils had to work with shapes and nets, using their spatial reasoning.

The finalist teams were also invited to visit Brighton University of Sussex on Wednesday, 7 June. Pupils found out more about what it is like to be a student at a top university outside of London. They also explored how maths is applied across different disciplines, such as economics and psychology degrees. Two of these teams also hosted Student Ambassadors from the University at follow up assemblies at their schools.

Year 6 pupil Mehzabin from the winning team said that being crowned “felt great, amazing and a little unbelievable because the last round threw us off and we were all nervous”.
Their teacher, Anthony Wilson, said, “It’s about going out and using maths and knowing it’s value. I also think the opportunity for children to visit a university makes the possibility of higher education feel more within the grasp of these children.”
Another pupil, Yamin, said “without my teammates I wouldn’t be here…we corrected each other and did backup calculations for each other.”

Managed by Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership (THEBP), Number Partners supports 7-11 year olds with attainment, confidence and motivation in numeracy. The scheme pairs volunteers from the business community with pupils for half an hour per week to play fun maths games, whilst simultaneously bringing young people into contact with role models from the world of work.

Andrea Day, associate at Alesco, said: “Having thoroughly enjoyed helping local school pupils improve their numeracy skills and confidence through the Tower Hamlets Number Partners scheme, we were absolutely delighted to host the Challenge Grand Final. Well done to the winning team from Sir William Burrough Primary but also to all those who made the final. Problem-solving, especially though team work, is such an important life skill to learn, so every finalist should be proud of their achievement but also excited about all the opportunities they are creating for themselves through developing these skills.”

The annual Number Partners Challenge takes the partnership further, with pupils and volunteers forming teams to complete three rounds of stretching maths-related challenges, using their problem-solving, logic and teamwork. Number Partners helps students to learn more, do more, and become more, and numeracy is a critical life skill within this aim.  Number Partners business volunteers make maths fun for pupils and gives them insight into how it can help them in later life.

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