William's efforts add up to national success

A RIPON Grammar School student has been recognised as one of the 200 top-performing maths students in the country.

William Keens, 15, was one of 600 pupils out of hundreds of thousands of entries to make it to the final round of the UK Maths Trust national competition.

His score, just two points off a distinction, in the elite Hamilton Olympiad earned him a merit, which places him among the top 200 young mathematicians in the UK for his age group.

It’s the second year the teenager, from York, made it to the final of the intermediate level competition, where he sat a challenging two-hour paper consisting of six problems, each requiring full written solutions.

Planning to study maths, further maths, chemistry and physics at A-level, he said: "I like the UKMT challenges because they encourage lots of out-of-the-box thinking. I was very pleased to find I was among the top students in the country for a second year."

Juggling his studies with playing saxophone and piano in school orchestras in addition to being a keen member of the running and drama clubs, his ambition is to study maths at university: "I love maths because of its infinite potential for new problems to amaze and inspire," he said.

Of the Year 9, 10 and 11 Ripon Grammar School pupils who entered the first stage of the intermediate UKMT competition, involving 25 multiple choice questions on problem solving and reasoning, 24 high-scoring RGS students were awarded coveted gold certificates.

Of these, 17 were among the 8,000 top-performing students nationally to make it through to the follow-on round.

A magnificent seven of these RGS students were among the top 25 per cent of students in the country to achieve top marks in this round, for which they were awarded certificates of merit.

They are Charlotte Oakley, 14, Thomas Hallam, 14, William Bellaries, 15 and Thomas Simpson, 13, all from outside Ripon, and Naiomi Robinson, 14, from Boroughbridge, Herbie Ash, 16, from Bedale and Isaac Li, 15, from Leeds.

The UK Mathematics Trust, founded in 1996, runs the UK’s biggest junior, intermediate and senior maths challenges, attracting more than 700,000 entries each year.