Cardwell Primary School


Mutual Respect, Resilience,
Responsibility, Tolerance and Perseverance

Top Class

South London News

20th November 2018


A school in South-east London has been crowned the smartest in the country after winning a BBC competition.

Year 6 pupils at Cardwell Primary School in Woolwich saw off 16 schools in a televised final of Top Class on CBBC.

Wisdom Ibraheem, Pharrell Oppey, Richmond Shakpoke and Kimberley Nyathi had seen the show the previous year and urged their teacher Anna Sullivan to enter them into the draw.

Ms Sullivan, who is acting deputy headteacher at the Frances Street school, said: “The programme searches for the smartest school in the UK so we knew it would be a massive challenge even to get on the show.

“We first did the application and then surprisingly we were asked to do a Skype audition with the producers of the show.”

The team and Ms Sullivan were then invited up to Glasgow for the live final, hosted by Susan Calman, on Sunday, November 4.

The pupils had never been to Scotland before, neither had they entered a TV studio. The children had to answer questions, mostly based on the National Curriculum, in a range of subjects including English, maths, history and geography.

They won their first round against Stanley Road Primary School on the last question.

In the Quarter Final against Hamilton College they won 33-31. Then they were through to the Semi Finals against Overchurch School, which they won by a point, 33-22.

Finally they were through to the final, against Stanley Primary School, which went down to the Battle of the Buzzer round 29-27, coming from behind. Ms Sullivan said: “When we won it was like a dream come true, we didn’t expect to even get chosen for the show, let alone win it.

The experience will be one that we never forget. “Everyone at Cardwell is so proud of them and feels inspired by their massive achievement.”

When asked how they felt about winning, Wisdom and Richmond were speechless, while Pharrell and Kimberly said they were “exhilarated”.