Grange Academy Mathletes impress at national competition


Ritangle is a fiendishly difficult challenge aimed at the top Maths students in the country. Until just last year, the competition was only open to A-level students but at the request of award winning maths teacher, Chris Smith, the competition is now open to those sitting Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers.

Seven of the school’s top mathletes from S5 and S6 - namely Sam Beattie, Ewan Eaglesham, Euan Edwards, Lewis Fitzpatrick, Eva Peter, Ashwan Punshi and Andrew Smith – took part in the competition. The pupils had to answer a new question every day for 25 days and had to draw on their exceptional mathematical, problem solving, code breaking and team working skills.

600 schools competed in the competition and only ten managed to submit the correct answers to each part of Ritangle 2018. The fastest team was The Thomas Hardye School from Dorchester and they retained the Ritangle title.

Grange Academy was in the elite group of nine runners-up who submitted a perfect set of solutions.

Mr Smith, who is Scottish Teacher of the Year 2018 and received a Silver Award at the UK Teaching Awards in October, was ecstatic about the team’s achievements.

He said: “Our team, the Pi-thons, are simply awesome. The standard of questions in this competition is outrageously tough and to have obtained a complete batch of correct answers is phenomenal. There were times where the puzzles stumped them for hours- the resilience on display was remarkable. Working together as a team they showed real commitment to solve the daily puzzles, they learned about other technologies available for solving Mathematical problems and worked brilliantly and creatively as a team.

“I am really delighted and can’t emphasise enough the respect I have for our Pi-thons: Sam Beattie, Ewan Eaglesham, Euan Edwards, Lewis Fitzpatrick, Eva Peter, Ashwan Punshi and Andrew Smith. We can’t wait to give it another go, bring on Ritangle 2019!”

Here is a flavour of the sort of challenges the students faced -

How many eight-digit numbers are there which are both divisible by 18 and only contain the digits 1, 2 or 3?

Arrange the following into four groups of four categories (fans of TV quiz show ‘Only Connect’ will recognise this question is similar to their famous Word Wall round):


Vivid Tesla Pascal Lux
Mix Katal Sharp Cobra
Hardy Lovelace Mill Newton
Latex Henry Lisp Civil