'Ahmad’s watch is running slow. If the time is 4:40pm, his watch displays 04:25pm. Ahmad needs to arrive at the train station at 8:30am, yet when he arrives the watch shows 08:40am. How late is Ahmad?'
This is among many exciting questions for Year 5 entrants at the prestigious American Mathematics Olympiad (AMO) competition. And our Year 5 student, Sam Minh Khue didn’t take much time before she worked out the correct answer - 25 minutes.
Always fascinated by numbers and shapes, Minh Khue's passion for Maths led her to achieve marvellous results on the international stage, including a silver medal at AMO 2019 and a bronze medal in the following year. Founded by Professor George Lenchner in 1977, AMO quickly gained a prestigious global reputation and become familiar with young mathematicians worldwide.
Minh Khue said the key to her success was bringing mathematics off the page and into the real world with families and friends.
"I don’t think I have any secret formula. Many think Maths is a difficult subject because you have to deal with numbers, but I find Maths in every corner of my life. I use mathematics to solve many real-life situations, like while I’m playing puzzles with my friends at school or helping out my parents at home," said Minh Khue.
Alongside this fascinating perspective on numbers, Minh Khue expressed her deep passion for Maths in the White Rose Maths lessons at school, a world-class program that is offered in schools worldwide. Building a new mantra to Maths learning and teaching and a vast bank of resources, teachers at BVIS help Minh Khue to develop a deep understanding, confidence and competence with new concepts in Maths in an engaging way. Our teachers make Maths more exciting for the children by transferring the knowledge into games, group projects and real-life applications, whilst developing these skills across two languages.
A close relationship between our school and family plays a crucial role in developing and nurturing the logical creativity for the children. And Ms. Minh Pham, Khue’s mother works closely alongside our teachers to create opportunities for her daughter to achieve excellence within the subject.
Not only thriving in Maths, Khue has achieved magnificent results in Art competitions nationally and internationally, including the Creative Brilliance award at the renowned Picasso Art contest. Khue challenged herself beyond her own comfort zone by taking on the creative writing or bilingual poem contests at school. A diverse experience of learning opportunities across different areas has enhanced Khue’s language expression and artistic skills.
According to BVIS Primary Maths Coordinator Ms. Yen Tran, mathematics and art complement each other well: “Practice makes perfect, and that goes for your brain too. Good language expression makes the process of forming and reasoning and presenting an idea more coherent and precise. In the meantime, the creativity that is cultivated through art appreciation assists children in visualising a problem and logical reasoning in Mathematics.
“With our progressive teaching methods alongside premium, up-to-date resources, the students engage with Maths in the most efficient way,” said Ms. Yen. “BVIS brings together a team of highly experienced, fully qualified and passionate teachers to guide each student on an individualised journey and develop a learning that is tailored to meet each student's strengths. Thanks to this advocacy for students, BVIS teachers turn Maths into a joyful and motivating subject for all of our students – including Minh Khue. At the end of the day, with the White Rose Maths scheme together with other creative learning activities, we’re shaping assured, happy and resilient young mathematicians like Minh Khue who relish the challenge of Maths."