Dorchester maths whizzes have retained their school’s title at a national mathematics competition.

The Maths Department at the Thomas Hardye School are celebrating after taking home the trophy at the Ritangle Maths competition for the second year in a row.

Ritangle is organised by Integral Maths and is open teams of students of A level Mathematics, the International Baccalaureate and Scottish Highers from across the UK.

teams have to answer 25 questions, which give clues to the final answer.

Sixth form student Joel Nugent said the team first heard about the competition from their teacher, and were intrigued when they discovered last year’s winners were from their school.

They signed up with a team of nine spent five weeks practicing warm-up questions which tested their maths, problem solving and coding abilities.

“After that came the questions,” Joel said. “For 20 consecutive days we were given a problem to solve, some of which we completed in the first few hours, some which took us even longer, but having successfully completed all 25 questions, we were ready to move onto the final round.”

Joel added the final question, which incorporated all previous questions, took a full seven hours of “gruelling” work, with all nine students working at full speed to find the final set of answers.

On the day there was a high level of excitement and suspense as the students worked through the problems.

At around 3:47 PM, they submitted their final answer.

“The next day we received a call - against all other 550 competing schools, our team was the first to submit a fully correct answer to the challenge. We had won,” Joel said. “This was an excellent learning experience and all of us thoroughly enjoyed the journey that we made together.”

The students won a maths hamper full of prizes and a trophy.

A school spokesman said it was very proud of the students’ achievement and the commitment shown throughout the competition. Teacher Claire Tanner, said: “The students were an amazing team and we were as excited as they were to hear that they had won.

“We are very grateful to Integral Maths for organising such an interesting and challenging competition.”