Pupils at a Primary School in Ashington, South East Northumberland, have quizzed their way into the Top 100 in a nationwide maths competition to find the country’s ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’.

The Year 6 pupils from Bishop’s Primary School’s Thomas Bewick Campus placed 66th overall in the virtual contest, which saw entries from over 30,000 primary and secondary schools across the UK.

The children, aged 10-11, worked incredibly hard over the course of the week-long competition, using their break times, lunch times, evenings and weekends to log into the online platform to answer quick-fire multiplication questions against the clock to score points for their school.

Having been challenged by teachers to aim for the top 500, staff at the school were overwhelmed at the dedication shown by the pupils to keep climbing the charts.

Jessica Williamson, Head of Campus at Thomas Bewick, said:

“We have been using the Times Tables Rock Stars programme for a couple of years to help support our pupils’ knowledge of mathematical times tables.

“Because it’s like a game, the children love it and get really competitive within their classes and year groups. When we saw that the company who develops the programme was launching a national competition, we spurred the children on to aim for the top 500, never dreaming that they would get so into it!

“Within days, they’d hit the top 500 target, so with a bit more encouragement and the promise of a socially-distanced school disco in the New Year, we challenged them to aim for the top 200. When they soared past that goal, I said that they could have a disco and a McDonald’s Happy Meal each if they got into the top 100, and here we are!

“We’re so incredibly proud of what the pupils have achieved. They all worked so hard and the progress that they’ve all made with their maths skills is incredible. Their quick recall ability is well above average for their age group and they’ve really grown in confidence, even when tackling tricky topics like fractions.”

Bishop’s Primary School, which has campuses located throughout Ashington, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and Lynemouth is part of the wider Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT); which also includes Castle School, Duke’s Secondary and Warkworth C of E Primary School.

Alan Hardie, Chief Executive Officer at NCEAT, commented:

“Across all of our Trust schools, pupils are encouraged to ‘Let their light shine’ (Matthew 5:16) and to aspire to be the best that they can be. What the Year 6 pupils have achieved in the Times Tables Rock Stars competition is the absolute embodiment of our vision and we couldn’t be more proud! A huge well done to all of the pupils and staff involved!”