The very word often fills men, women, and child with a feeling of dread- Maths! However, thanks to a charity founded in 1996 called the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT). This wonderful charity helps with the education of children within the UK.

The charity makes maths accessible, fun and competitive. There are three challenges: junior, intermediate and senior ranging from year 8 up to year 13. The first fifteen questions are easier, however as the questions get more and more difficult, the penalty of 1 point is subtracted if the pupil gets a wrong answer. This discourages guessing.

My own experiences of the junior and intermediate challenges were very mixed. “On one hand, the questions are cerebrally frustrating, but on the other hand provided an opportunity to apply wider knowledge whilst encouraging lateral thinking.”

Both these skills are key requirements in any perspective workplace. Working autonomously under pressure and that too timed, whilst attaining a high level of performance will ensure a successful work and employment history. 

In terms of accessibility , whilst some students may face day to day challenges due to learning difficulties such as dyslexia and makes them feel less ‘able’ than their peers, challenges such as this enable students to problems solve in a way which they may not be able to do in school.

Given that the UK struggles with teaching maths successfully to school children it is refreshing to see a charity such as UKMT, providing a learning platform which enables young people to engage with Maths in a confident, positive and aspirational way.