Port Stephens siblings and Medowie students excel in Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition

WINNER: Medowie's Ethan Piesto receives his award from Raymond Terrace acting branch manager at Newcastle Permanent, Katherine Griffiths. Pictures: Supplied
WINNER: Medowie's Ethan Piesto receives his award from Raymond Terrace acting branch manager at Newcastle Permanent, Katherine Griffiths. Pictures: Supplied

Maths may not be every kids favourite subject, but for a Port Stephens sister and brother they are stars with numbers.

Siblings Kayla and Ethan Peisto, who both attend Wirrenada Public School at Medowie, are two of the 44 award winners (19 in the Hunter) from the 10,000 students who sat this year's Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition.

Kayla was presented her award as the Hunter region Year 6 District Award winner while Ethan Peisto was awarded the Year 5 winner.

For the first time in its 41-year history, in response to COVID-19, the exam was held online. Students test their numeracy and problem-solving skills without help from calculators, rulers or other mathematical instruments.

First place winners receive a complimentary $250 Newcastle Permanent account, second place winners $150, and third place $100. District Award winners receive $50.

Chief customer and product officer James Cudmore, who presented some of the winners with their awards at Newcastle Permanent's head office, said it was great to meet students in person to hear their aspirations for the future. He thanked parents and teachers for their support in running the competition online this year.

Kayla Piesto with Katherine Griffiths,

Kayla Piesto with Katherine Griffiths,

"There was a lot of maths and science mentioned which is great to see because we know that's important for the future," Mr Cudmore said.

"Hearing those aspirations and interest in mathematics is why Newcastle Permanent runs the competition," he said.

CEO Bernadette Inglis congratulated all entrants for challenging themselves and embracing the importance of mathematics in daily life.

"Numeracy skills are so important well beyond school, in fact, they're life skills," Ms Inglis said.

"Numeracy plays a part in getting a job, in managing your household budget and in buying your first home, not to mention the daily problems we solve using maths," she said.

"Seeing our Hunter-based students perform at such a high level demonstrates the high number of talented young people we have within our younger generations. Despite the challenges that lockdowns, restrictions and home schooling presented families, the resilience of our young people shone through."

She said the Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition had been encouraging students to be enthusiastic about maths for more than 40 years and "long may the focus on maths continue for years to come".