Coffs Harbour students excel in regional NSW maths competition

Jessica Forsythe, Assistant Branch Manager, Newcastle Permanent in Coffs Harbour, congratulates maths award winner Lachlan Gentle, a Year 6 student at Bishop Druitt College.

TWO local maths maestros have been congratulated for their excellence in this year’s Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition; Year 6 Bishop Druitt College student Lachlan Gentle and Year 5 St Augustine’s Primary School student Albie Webb.

Both boys won a District Award which were presented to the pair, plus a complimentary $50 prize account, at an afternoon tea at Newcastle Permanent’s Coffs Harbour branch on Wednesday 21 September.

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Newcastle Permanent Assistant Branch Manager Jessica Forsythe congratulated the high-performing students.

“We have some talented young mathematicians in our region,” Ms Forsythe said.

“I want to congratulate everyone who entered the competition because testing yourself to improve numeracy and problem-solving skills is important for success in school, work and life,” she said.

“STEM skills will be key for many rewarding jobs of the future.”

Both students said they love maths and relish its challenging nature.

Lachlan Gentle said, “What I personally love about maths is the constant challenge and pushing yourself.”

Albie Webb said, “I love that maths is one of the only subjects that really challenges me.”

Students from 339 Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West, and New England North West primary schools sat this year’s exam.

Students were given 45 minutes to complete 35 questions without help from calculators, rulers or other mathematical instruments.

All participating students will receive a high distinction, distinction, merit or participation certificate.

The Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition is the largest and longest running competition of its kind in Australia.

More than half a million students have participated since it started in 1981.

16,000 students sat the exam this year.

There were 10 major award winners and forty-nine District Award winners, including the two boys from Coffs Harbour.

Are you a maths maestro?

Now, dear readers, you can check your knowledge against questions from this year’s exam.

Remember, no calculators, rulers or other instruments.

Q1. Ali wants to save $20 each month for a year.

After seven months she finds that she has only saved $15 per month.

How much will she have to save each month from now on to achieve her goal?

(A) $20 (B) $23 (C) $25 (D) $27

Q2. All the odd numbers between 6 and 30 are multiplied together.

The last digit of the answer is:

(A) 3 (B) 5 (C) 7 (D) 9

Q3. It is true that 22 × 24 × 26 × 28 = 384 384

Which of the following is not a factor of 384 384?

(A) 36 (B) 21 (C) 11 (D) 8

Answers: 1: (D) $27, 2: (B) 5 and 3: (A) 36


Jessica Forsythe, Assistant Branch Manager, Newcastle Permanent in Coffs Harbour, with winning maths maestro Albie Webb, Year 5 student at St Augustine’s Primary School.

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