From education to employment

The National Young Mathematicians’ Awards are BACK – with Bobby Seagull Presenting!

Bobby Seagull, University Challenge legend, TV presenter, school maths teacher and author

The longest running maths competition for schools is back, with University Challenge icon and maths guru, Bobby Seagull presenting – The National Young Mathematicians’ Awards!

Organised by Explore Learning and NRICH at the University of Cambridge we are encouraging primary and secondary schools across the UK to enter a team of four children to battle it out to become crowned the National Young Mathematicians of the Year.

• Inspiring the next generation of mathematicians with University Challenge Legend, Bobby Seagull official ambassador 

• Maths competition for primary AND secondary school children 

• Closing date to enter 19th October.  Finalists compete in Grand Final at University of Cambridge in January 

Explore Learning’s National Young Mathematicians’ Awards are back!  The competition – aimed at school children across the UK is returning with a new format – where both primary schools and secondary school children can compete against other teams across the country to be crowned the National Young Mathematicians of the Year! 

Now in its ninth year, the free competition was the UK’s first team maths contest for schools and is organised by tuition provider, Explore Learning ( and NRICH at the University of Cambridge.  

Bobby Seagull, University Challenge legend, TV presenter, school maths teacher and author who is currently studying a Doctorate in Mathematical Education at the University of Cambridge will have the job of awarding the winners and runners up with their prizes on 9th January!  His book, The Life-changing Magic of Numbers is set to launch next month by Penguin Random House while his TV show with fellow University Challenge contestant, Eric Monkman, The Monkman and Seagull Genius Guide to Britain, is currently taking BBC2 and twitter by storm!

Schools are invited to enter a team of four pupils who will have the unique opportunity to tackle a never-before-seen mathematical problem.  By popular demand, this year’s competition will be split into two levels. The Primary Competition is for pupils in Year 6 (England) and P7 in Wales and Scotland and below while the Secondary Competition is for pupils in Year 8 (England) and 2nd Year in Wales in Scotland and younger. 

Bobby Seagull says: “I’m really pleased to be the ambassador for this year’s National Young Mathematicians’ Awards. Maths is in my blood and I’m thrilled to be able to inspire the next generation who might one day study at the University of Cambridge themselves – and perhaps appear on University Challenge! Maths is such an integral part of our everyday lives and having competitions like this really encourages children to see the importance of it and excitement that it can bring. I can’t wait to celebrate the children’s success with them.” 

The contest is be made up of three rounds.  The first rounds which takes place on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th November at 12pm – 2pm, sees teams compete against other local schools at an Explore Learning centre near them.  The semi-finals which happen on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th December at 12pm – 2pm, take the highest scoring schools in their region who battle it out to become the top five teams in the UK.  Here the highest scoring primary and secondary schools from the across the UK will venture to Cambridge to take part in the grand final in January! 

Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at organisers of the competition, Explore Learning says: “We are very excited to be launching the ninth National Young Mathematicians’ Awards.  After the positive feedback from teachers, parents and children alike we have decided to grow the competition to encompass secondary school children as well – giving those from years seven and eight the opportunity to show off their maths skills and compete in a fun, challenging environment.

“The children absolutely love taking part in the competition and making it to the grand final at the University of Cambridge is one of their proudest moments that stays with them for life!  We can’t wait to see the impressive problem solving skills and fantastic teamwork that will be on display.”  

Not only will this year’s winners be crowned the best young mathematicians in the country, the two winning teams and eight runners up will receive prizes from Meccano, Letts Revision, i-Top and Sum Fun.  

The full list of prizes include: 

For runners up:

– Meccano 5 Model Set – Roadster, with pull back motor and 174 parts to build worth £14.99

– An i-Top each – the next generation of electronic spinning game worth £14.99

– Sum Fun games

– Book bundle from Letts Revision worth £60

For the winners:

– Tipped as one of the hottest toys for Christmas, BOXER from Spin Master is your real robot pal, worth £79.99.   BOXER is a tiny interactive AI robot buddy filled with technology, fun games, and a lively personality.  It includes touch sensors, game activating feature cards and remote control!

– An i-Top each – the next generation of electronic spinning game worth £14.99

– Sum Fun games

– Book bundle from Letts Revision worth £60

The winning team last year was Ladbrooke Junior Mixed and Infant School in Barnet who triumphed over 700 teams from all over the UK and were presented with their prize by author of The Murderous Maths series of books, Kjartan Poskitt.  

Last year’s winning school’s Deputy Head, Helen Romain said: “I would definitely recommend the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards to other schools.  It has been great to challenge my higher achievers who have completed all of the year six objectives already!  It’s been excellent for developing teamwork skills and perseverance and felt amazing to win!  The children did so well to get to the final and we are all so very proud.” 

To help schools prepare for the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards, Explore Learning and NRICH have put together a number of teacher resources, downloadable from the Explore Learning website –  They are also offering FREE problem-solving workshops. 

Explore Learning is an award-winning provider of extra tuition for children aged four to 14, taking a unique and personalised approach to maths and English tuition. Since 2001 over 200,000 children have excelled academically, reached their potential and achieved the best possible results with Explore Learning. They are unwavering in their mission to develop a generation of fearless learners; children who will excel in the classroom, be confident in exams and fearless in school and beyond. 

For more information on the awards and to register a team please visit or speak to a member of the team on 01483 447410.

About Explore Learning:  

• Explore Learning provides maths and English tuition for 4-14 year olds  

• Over 35,000 children attend Explore Learning centres every week.  It has 139 centres across the UK  

• All courses are aligned to the National Curriculum and Curriculum for Excellence and Explore Learning tutors select appropriate resources for each child to ensure they cover a combination of courses, enabling them to reach their potential in all areas. 

• All Explore centres are located in areas that are convenient for families to attend – these include centres within shopping centres such as Westfield London, Lakeside, Cabot Circus and Sainsbury’s supermarkets.  

• Explore Learning was named the best Private Tuition Centre Operator in the Education Investor Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016, a One to Watch in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, a finalist in the European Business Awards and were recently named the 20th Best Place to Work For by GlassDoor. For the last 6 years Explore Learning has been named as one of the Sunday Times Best Companies to work for in the UK.

About Bobby Seagull: Bobby Seagull gained the affection of the British public from his popular appearances leading the Emmanuel College Cambridge team on University Challenge. Bobby is still at Emmanuel, studying for his Doctorate in Mathematical Education whilst also teaching maths at his local school in east London. His television series with fellow University Challenge contestant Eric Monkman, The Monkman and Seagull Genius Guide to Great Britain is currently being broadcast on BBC2. Bobby’s book, The Life-changing Magic of Numbers is being published in October 2018 by Penguin Random House. 

Related Articles