GIFTED and talented Year 9 students from West Craven High School were crowned University Challenge champions in the first of 2018's Pendle Elite tasks.

The West Craven students were competing against their counterparts from Pendle’s other secondary schools in Nelson and Colne College’s aspiration raising Boat Race Challenge which is a unique three-year training initiative designed to stretch the abilities of young learners from Year 9 onwards with the aim of preparing them for College life and reaching Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.

To prepare for the challenge, each team was given eleven topics to study ranging from Shakespeare to the solar system. West Craven’s team of Erin Barnes, Poppy Hill, Isabella Lord, Joe McCash, Jonah Piskorski and Katie Wilkinson got off to a slow start but lightning speed reactions for bonus points enabled the students to edge their way in front, gaining a two point advantage over Fisher More to become Pendle Elite University Challenge champions.

The six Pendle schools next go head-to-head in the Stem challenge (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in March where a presentation will be prepared and presented in front of a Dragons’ Den style audience.