On Wednesday, 21 August, a record number of primary school students – 19,226 from 334 schools throughout regional NSW – will put their mathematics and problem solving skills to the test in the 39th annual Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition.

Newcastle Permanent Branch Manager, Erica Farag said in Coffs Harbour, 180 year 5 and 6 students would sit the 35- question paper with no help from calculators, rulers or other mathematical instruments.

“Newcastle Permanent’s Primary School Mathematics Competition promotes the fun of overcoming maths challenges, while teaching students fundamental life skills. It aims to encourage students to enjoy maths, by challenging them to use problem-solving skills in life-based situations,” she said.

“Since 1981, primary school children across regional NSW have been tackling the maths challenges we’ve set. We wish the students in Coffs Harbour the best as they take part in the 39th annual exam on Wednesday,” she said.

“We’re really excited that we have so many local students taking part this year and we hope everyone has a great time challenging themselves.

“The exam helps students to develop mathematics and problem solving skills which are invaluable at all ages. We’re actually told that many adults find the exams challenge their own problem solving abilities!

“Each year students produce some outstanding results and again this year we expect to find some exceptional young minds in our regional schools,” Erica said.

The Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition is one of the largest of its kind and is open to all primary school students in Year 5 and 6 with awards presented to the top performers in each region.

Last year, in 2018 we had a great result in Coffs Harbour, with Eamon Browne from St Augustine’s Primary School receiving the Mid North Coast District Year 5 Award and Blake Botes from St Augustine’s Primary School receiving Mid North Coast District Year 6 Award.

Sample question from 2018 Newcastle Permanent Primary Schools Mathematics Competition exam:

Melissa saved a certain amount of money for special activities during the school holidays. She spent $24, which was 40% of her money, on a shopping trip. A few days later she went to the movies and spent a further 15% of the original amount of money. How much money did she have left after the movies?

(A) $27 (B) $36 (C) $45 (D) $60