During 2020-21, we followed the extraordinary progress of Mikaeel Shah (then Year 10, now Year 11), as he excelled on the national stage through several mathematical challenges.

It started in the Autumn Term last year, as Mikaeel took part in the UK Mathematical Trust’s Senior Mathematical Challenge. It is important to note that this challenge is usually for students in Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13), meaning that Mikaeel was competing a full two years ahead of his age group. After completing the ninety-minute, multiple-choice paper, he was rewarded with a Gold award and a staggering 100% score.

This placed Mikaeel in the top 1300 students in the country – in the Key Stage 5 age bracket – so qualified for the British Mathematical Olympiad 1 (BMO1). This raised the stakes, as Mikaeel had to complete a three-and-a-half-hour paper in school. No problem for this mathematical prodigy, as he gained a Distinction – the highest grade available – and qualified for the British Mathematical Olympiad 2 (BMO2). This was another three-and-a-half hour paper with even more challenging questions. When the results came through, we were delighted to learn that Mikaeel had earned a merit – and was a mere two marks away from a Distinction.

Later in the school year, he entered the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge (IMC) – which is actually aimed at his year group. Needless to say, he earned 100% and qualified for the final, elite stage – the Hamilton Mathematical Olympiad. In this two-hour challenge, the top 600 in the country have to answer four written problems. Mikaeel finished his incredible journey with yet another Distinction.

As a result of his performance, Mikaeel was invited to an online camp in April, with sessions and lectures on interesting mathematical topics. It marked the end of an amazing year, and we are incredibly proud of his achievements. With the support of our maths department, Mikaeel’s natural talent has blossomed. Well done!


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