Numbers add up for budding Hartlepool maths scholars

Youngsters from Eldon Grove Academy with their Brilliant Club certificates.
Youngsters from Eldon Grove Academy with their Brilliant Club certificates.

A maths masterclass added up to the square root of success for a group of brilliant young scholars.

Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool, were given a taste of the future after being selected to take part in The Brilliant Club, a university-style course designed to develop their knowledge, skills and ambitions in higher education.

Everyone in the group really enjoyed the experience

Valda Varadinek-Skelton

Year 5 students, Rhiana Porritt, Sam Ainsley, Kian Evans, Shay Wood, Lucy Hynes, Ava Wright, Kate Cameron, Jasmine Richardson, Anthony Lloyd, Ana Lee Malone, Cassidy Lindridge and Gary-Lee Barker, each worked with Sunderland University-based Phd tutor Olugbenga Oyeniyi, over six tutorial sessions, to study the topic of Pythagoras’ Theorem.

They were each tasked with a 550-word research essay on how the theorem could be applied to everyday life.

Year 6 teacher and maths co-lead at Eldon Grove, Valda Varadinek-Skelton, said: “This is the third year that Eldon Grove has taken part in The Brilliant Club, which is designed to challenge students and make them think about the possibility of going to university in the future.

“Everyone in the group really enjoyed the experience and although some found it hard at first by the end of the six weeks each of them agreed that it had been a great opportunity.

“The programme has really given them something to think about and given them a real flavour of academia and what higher education could be like.”

At the end of the course all Brilliant Club students from across the North East were invited to attend a graduation ceremony at Durham University, where Eldon Grove Academy pupils Kate Cameron, Jasmine Richardson and Gary-Lee Barker were invited to speak, before the whole group was presented with certificates in front of family and friends.

“Eight of our pupils achieved a 1st and the rest a 2:1 which was absolutely amazing especially when their essays were marked to degree standard,” said Mrs Varadinek-Skelton.

She added: “One of our students Sam Ainsley has even had his work chosen to appear in The Brilliant Club magazine after scoring an incredible 91 out of 100.”

Sam, ten, of Hartlepool, added: “I’ve never done anything like The Brilliant Club before. I liked meeting Olu the tutor and looking around Durham University. I’d never thought about going to university before but I think I’d like to go now.”