PENCILS and brains were sharpened on Saturday (November 25) as the Wellington School Maths Challenge once again attracted huge numbers of children.

Almost 250 pupils from 58 primary schools took part in the contest and thrived on the competitive spirit.

The winner in the hotly contested challenge was Milverton Primary School, whose team of four beat off all other contenders for the prize.

Now in its 28th year, the annual event is aimed at children aged 10 or 11 from schools across Devon and Somerset.

Schools are invited to enter a team of four pupils who work together to solve 25 questions in an hour.

Their problem solving skills are put to the test with a range of tasks based on principles from across mathematics.

Peter Buckingham, head of maths at Wellington School, said: "We were delighted to see so many enthusiastic and talented mathematicians working together and pitting their wits against each other.

"This event has grown over the 28 years we have been running it and it is always good to see new schools joining in.

“These young mathematicians have impressed us all with their enthusiasm.

"They have successfully solved problems by working together and sharing their methods and we were delighted to welcome a school from Oman, who took part remotely.”

The winners took home books, puzzles and the satisfaction of having risen to the challenge.


  • First place, Milverton Primary School.
  • Second place, West Buckland Primary School.
  • Third place, Bolham Primary School and Bishop Henderson Primary School.
  • Special mention goes to Thorverton Primary School for their high score on the challenge.
  • Bampton Primary School, Brent Knoll Primary School and Kentisbeare Primary School made the closest estimates of the number of sweets in the jar - there were 123.

This year, the challenge was written by Lydia who attended the event as a student 15 years ago.

After leaving Wellington School, she gained a first class honours degree in mathematics from Merton College, Oxford, and iss now completing her PhD at the University of Bath.