Students from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, competed against the best mathematical brains in the North East taking the honours in the Junior Mathematics Challenge.

Part of the Further Mathematics Support Programme, the contest was staged at Northumbria University and attracted 21 teams from across the region.

Contestants were challenged in six rounds including algebra, Venn diagrams and the Columbus Cube.

Many of the tests saw the 14 and 15-year-olds covering maths normally taught at A level which were unfamiliar to them.

The four in a row round only allowed them to proceed if they successfully answered each question, while the cube challenge required them to interlink as many cubes as possible to form a tower.

Maths teacher at Emmanuel College Nidhi Joshi said: “As soon as I saw that they had manage to interlock five cubes I knew they were going to do well. I was really happy with the way they all performed.

“The Venn diagrams required them to teach themselves a form of maths they hadn’t come across before, which they did very well.”

maths challenge 2The Emmanuel College team comprised Jordan Guthrie, 15, Farmina Ahmed, 15, both of Gateshead, Bethany Maddison, 15, of Burnopfield, and William McLeod, 14, of Whickham.

Jordan said: “It was great learning something new and it will be really useful when we start our A level maths. We scored full marks in quite a few of the rounds and lost minimal points in the others.”

Bethany added: “We didn’t expect to do this well. We just wanted to try our best. I love maths and can’t see myself doing anything else at university.”