Gold for Australia's top maths Olympians

Greystanes Public School’s Class 6S has won the Australian section of the Australasian Maths Olympiad for senior primary students. Sven Wright reports.

Students standing in rows dressed in yellow and green. Students standing in rows dressed in yellow and green.
Image: Greystanes Public School’s Class 6S, the 2023 Maths Olympiad champions.

Year 6S at Greystanes Public School are champion problem-solvers, beating 1690 school teams to take out the 2023 Australian Junior Maths Olympiad title.

The class is taught by Margaret Smith and Peter Morris, who were delighted at the students’ outstanding effort.

“The students all have a firm grasp of maths at the highest primary level and know how important it is to so many other subjects and how useful it is day to day, so we weren’t surprised at how keen they were to have a bit of fun and competition with it,” Mrs Smith said.

The competition is run by Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads (APSMO), a not-for-profit organisation established in 1987 to promote maths problem-solving among primary and secondary students in Australia and New Zealand.

The competition starts in Term 2 each year and involves four contests, six weeks apart. Each contest has five questions which students complete individually and without collaboration within a strict 30-minute time limit. The school then sends the results to APSMO.

Mr Morris said the students at the western Sydney school enjoyed the competition as part of their challenging mathematics program.

“It’s given an extra dimension to their maths problem-solving skills, including the experience of thinking clearly under the pressure of competition,” Mr Morris said.

“They also serve as role models for the younger students, so it really is a whole-school win.”

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