Flynn loves numbers

Flynn Coventry Searle with Newcastle Permanent Tuggerah branch manager Michael Smith

A home-schooled year six student has been awarded the prize of being the Coast’s top performing student in this year’s Newcastle Permanent Primary School maths competition.

Flynn Coventry-Searle, from Tuggerah, scored 96 out of 100 to rank second overall out of the 10,000 students from 250 schools who took the exam.

The exam was completed by year five and six students from the Central Coast, Hunter, mid North Coast, North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West and New England North West schools.

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

Joining Flynn in the list of seven top performers were two other students from the Coast.

Brian Zhang from Central Coast Grammar School was second overall amongst year five students. Year six student at Empire Bay Public School, Jack Bailey, and Year five Gosford Public School student, Lucia (Qiyu) Jian, took out District awards.

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.

First place winners received a complimentary Newcastle Permanent account with $250, second place winners $150, and third place $100.

District Award winners received $50.

Local branch managers presented the children with their prizes.

“We’re so proud of our participating Central Coast students, who have performed well despite the many challenges thrown in their way by the pandemic and ongoing restrictions and lockdowns,” said Newcastle Permanent regional manager, Jessica Burgoyne.

“They all deserve to be celebrated,” Burgoyne 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.

Nicola Riches