Walton girl wins £1,000 national maths contest

Kayleigh Higgins with Louise Edwards, who got into the top 10 of the Academy Excellence music awards, and teacher Karen Marlor. Photo: C522.
Kayleigh Higgins with Louise Edwards, who got into the top 10 of the Academy Excellence music awards, and teacher Karen Marlor. Photo: C522.
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A STUDENT at Walton Girls’ High School was awarded £1,000 when she picked up a national maths prize recently.

Kayleigh Higgins, 16, won the Academy Excellence Award, run by Nottingham University, for her maths-based essay entitled Wellbeing – How Can It Be Measured?

She said: “When I first found out about the Academy Excellence awards I was excited to take part but I never thought I would have got on to the long or short lists let alone win within my category.

“I was excited to have the opportunity to take part and am even more excited and surprised to have won it. It was an amazing chance to put my maths and essay writing skills to a practical use and it has certainly paid off.”

The Academy Excellence Awards, now in its second year, is an initiative to celebrate academic achievement by students at academies.

This year more than 250 academies across England took part. Kayleigh was chosen as the overall winner for maths. As well as £1,000, she also won an internship at Northgate IT Solutions.

Matt Parker, from Queen Mary, University of London, was one of the judges.

He said: “Kayleigh’s essay demonstrated a huge effort in trying to find individual markers that were not subjective.

“She very cleverly created a ‘Wellbeing Calculator’ - a calculator that uses formulas to calculate someone’s wellbeing rather than carrying out a general survey. This was easy to interact with and proved to be a reliable processing method.”

Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator at the school, Karen Marlor, said the award was well-deserved.

She said: “I am so proud of Kayleigh’s achievement in this national competition. Walton our students are constantly encouraged to aspire for excellence and smash through the glass ceiling and this just shows what high standards our students can reach.”

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