Memory UK
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A gathering of the region’s top-scoring 120 Memory whizz-kids from schools, academies and colleges based in Tyne, Wear and Northumberland took part in the nail-biting UK Schools Memory Championship North-Eastern Regional Final at The Centre for Life in Newcastle on 31st March.

Kate McKenna (17) from Blaydon, a pupil at St Thomas More School in Gateshead, took Gold en route to the 2010 UK Schools Memory Championships Final!

Joining Kate on the podium was Silver Medallist Rehnumah Insan from Prior Pursglove College, Guisborough and the Bronze winner was Natalya Scott from St Patrick’s RC School in Thornaby

Kate won Gold with an amazing overall score of 1,366 (by comparison, last year’s National winner, Eva Ball, scored 900).  Rehnumah’s score (1096) was equally impressive, with Natalya a very close third with 1027.  The thirty highest scorers in the North-Eastern competition will now proceed to the UK Schools Memory Championship National Final, to be held in Wolverhampton on Wednesday 14th July.

The 120 talented youngsters taking part in the Regional Final - who, since Christmas, had qualified at local heats held throughout the area - were challenged to memorise and recall sequences of Random Words, Random Numbers, Dates & Events and Playing Cards.  These techniques are taught to students by a nationwide schools outreach team which is organised by educational consultancy Learning Performance in co-operation with the World Memory Sports Council.

Front row: Natalya Scott, Kate McKenna and Rehnumah Insam

Back row: Dominic O’Brien (centre) with Paul Salkeld, Operations Manager for Aimhigher TWN (left) and Neil Denley from Inspire Education

Established in 2008, the UK Schools Memory Championship has established an enviable reputation for helping students acquire powerful mental skills that improve both learning and self-confidence.  

Kate, who is intending to train as a doctor, was delighted with her win.  “It’s been really good – I’ve enjoyed it so much.  The techniques have been really useful for my A-level studies and I’ve had loads of fun.”

Dominic O’Brien was bowled over by the performances in the North-Eastern Final.  “The top six competitors today all beat last year’s nationwide winner’s tally!  It’s becoming clear to me that the North-East could well become the ‘Home of Memory’.  The performances by the top eight girls (and two boys!) today have been phenomenal!”


  • Kate McKenna                  1366           St. Thomas More School
  • Rehnumah Insan             1096           Prior Pursglove College
  • Natalya Scott                   1027           St Patrick’s School
  • Emily Watts                      990             Prior Pursglove College
  • Sophie Stephenson         941             Joseph Swan School
  • Daniel Shaw                      939             Greenfield Community Arts College
  • Alison Pharoah                 888             Benfield School
  • Sophie Ditchburn             848             Rector Community College
  • Karl Miller                          835             Rector Community College
  • Lauren Brown                   831             South Tyneside College

Any educational establishment interested in registering for the 2015 UK Schools Memory Championship please follow this link:

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