MATHEMATICAL wizards from a village school have finished as runners-up in a national competition for a second time this year.

Pupils from Hamsterley Primary School, in Hamsterley, near Bishop Auckland, beat tens of thousands of youngsters from across the country in a contest ran by motor company Jaguar.

Using their maths skills, they designed and programmed a virtual car to race against vehicles designed by schools across the country for the Jaguar Cars Maths in Motion Christmas challenge.

The team of Year six pupils Charlie Dixon, Sam Dixon, William Gale and Year three pupil Thomas Hambleton came second in the race.

For Jaguar’s Summer Madness race Charlie, Sam and William were joined by Chloe Armstrong for a similar contest and also managed to finish in second spot.

Deputy headteacher Damian Hassan said: “The competition puts maths into a real life contest, it is not just about numbers in a book but pupils have to use maths skills to work out ratios, gearing, percentages, angles on the track and how well they do in the race depends on their accuracy.

“It also involves a lot of team work, figuring out where people’s strengths lie and sharing responsibilities.

“They did really well, for a school of just 27 pupils to be successful on a national stage is very good for their self esteem.”

The school’s pride was doubled when Mr Hassan finished in pole position in a teachers contest during the winter event.