Coffs students shine in regional NSW maths competition

Year 6 Bishop Druitt College Coffs Harbour student James Quodling with Newcastle Permanent Coffs Harbour Assistant Branch Manager Jessica Forsythe.


THREE local primary school students have taken out a District Award in this year’s Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition.

Year 6 Toormina Public School student Fionn O’Suilleabhain, Year 6 Bishop Druitt College Coffs Harbour student James Quodling, and Year 5 St Augustine’s Primary School Coffs Harbour student Finn Bishop were among 44 prize winners.

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More than 10,000 Year 5 and 6 students from 250 Central Coast, Hunter, Mid North Coast, North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West and New England North West schools took the exam.

Encouraging students at all skill levels to get enthusiastic about maths, the exam tested their numeracy and problem-solving skills without help from calculators, rulers or other mathematical instruments.

For the first time in its 41-year history, in response to COVID-19, the exam was held online.

District Award winners receive a complimentary $50 receive Newcastle Permanent account.

Coffs Harbour Branch Manager Erica Farag and Assistant Branch Manager Jessica Forsythe personally presented Fionn, James and Finn with their award prizes.

Newcastle Permanent Regional Manager Adam Power thanked teachers and parents for their help in running this year’s competition online.

He congratulated the winners but also all the entrants for taking the opportunity to improve their numeracy skills.

“Numeracy skills are so important throughout life, to help navigate everyday jobs such as buying the groceries, though to major milestones like purchasing their first home,” he said.

“We’re so proud of all the participating students, who have performed well despite the many challenges thrown in their way by the pandemic and ongoing restrictions and lockdowns.

“They all deserve to be celebrated,” he said.

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.

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Here are three questions from this year’s exam.

Remember, no calculators, rulers or other instruments.

Q1. One ice-cream costs $4.50.

How much for 7 ice-creams?

(A1) $32.50 (B) $31.50 (C) $29.05 (D) $28.00

Q2. After spending 0.6 of her money, Melissa has $20 left.

How much has she spent?

(A2) $8 (B) $12 (C) $30 (D) $50

Q3 A triangle has one angle of 60°.

We know that one of the other angles is four times the size of the third angle.

The triangle is:

(A) obtuse angled (B) equilateral (C) isosceles (D) right angled


A1: (B) $31.50
A2: (C) $30
A3: (A) obtuse angled




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