Hartlepool teens have formula for success at national maths contest

English Martyrs School maths challenge pupils (left to right) Riya Nighoskar, Jack Dobson, Tia Briggs and Mark Tones. Picture by FRANK REID
English Martyrs School maths challenge pupils (left to right) Riya Nighoskar, Jack Dobson, Tia Briggs and Mark Tones. Picture by FRANK REID

Talented young mathematicians from a Hartlepool school are celebrating a haul of awards from a maths challenge.

And for two of the gifted teenagers, there’s another challenge ahead of them which could see them clinch more honours.

English Martyrs School maths challenge pupils (left to right) Riya Nighoskar, Jack Dobson, Tia Briggs and Mark Tones. Picture by FRANK REID

English Martyrs School maths challenge pupils (left to right) Riya Nighoskar, Jack Dobson, Tia Briggs and Mark Tones. Picture by FRANK REID

The gold and bronze accolades went to four students at English Martyrs Sixth Form College.

Each of them took part in the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Senior Maths Challenge.

The contest, which was set by UKMT and the University of Leeds, is open to all Year 12 and 13 students across the country.

English Martyrs was represented by Tia Briggs, Jack Dobson, Riya Nighoskar and Mark Tones.

I love the satisfaction of cracking the puzzles

Jack Dobson

It was a challenge they relished and they did Hartlepool proud.

The teens had one hour to tackle a 25-question paper packed with extremely difficult logical maths puzzles.

Riya, 17, from Hartlepool, explained why she loved taking part.

She said: “I like to be challenged, which is why I had a go, and I’m really pleased with my bronze certificate.”

Fellow bronze certificate winner Mark Tones, 17, who joined the sixth form college from High Tunstall College of Science, said: “It was really difficult, but it’s a different kind of maths which I really enjoy doing.”

Tia Briggs, 17, who joined the college from Easington Academy, and Jack Dobson, 17, originally from Manor Academy, both scooped gold certificates, but their competition journey does not end there.

They have a further challenge ahead of them. They have been invited to undertake the more difficult Kangaroo exam.

Jack, who only missed out on an invitation to the British Mathematics Olympiad by six marks, is looking forward to the next challenge and told us: “I love the satisfaction of cracking the puzzles.”

His maths teacher Maria Chapman said: “Jack is quite possible the most gifted mathematician I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching.

“Although he is Year 12 he is currently working in Year 13 lessons, as he wasn’t being challenged enough.

“He has a real passion for maths and I wish him and Tia all the best for the next challenge.”