Two Scottish teachers and their children have been described as “Britain’s brainiest family” after winning Family Brain Games, a BBC television quiz hosted by Dara Ó’Briain.
Chris Smith is a maths teacher at Grange Academy in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, and Elaine Smith is a teacher at the same school’s hearing-impairment unit. Mr Smith was Scotland’s 2018 Teacher of the Year and has written for Tes Scotland.
Ya beauty!!!— Chris Smith (@aap03102) June 27, 2019
TeamSmith are #FamilyBrainGames champions 2019!
Love my wee team.
Love this competition.
Love the other families we met.
No exaggeration to say I also love Dara... pic.twitter.com/FFq1dJ1uud
Their eldest daughter, Daisy, is a pupil at Loudoun Academy, also in East Ayrshire, and has won two gold medals at the Scottish Maths Challenge Awards, while the youngest competitor in the show, Heidi, is a pupil at Darvel Primary School and the youngest person to win gold in the Scottish Maths Challenge Awards.
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Helicopters and relay races: Chris Smith on the first Maths Week Scotland
Their exceptional maths and problem-solving skills were put to the test and they won many fans, with #TeamSmith trending on Twitter during their semi-final. Dr Hannah Critchlow, the show’s neuroscientist, said that it brought tears to her eyes to see how well the Smiths worked together to solve problems.
Mr Smith said: “We are still buzzing about winning the first ever Family Brain Games. It’s been a joy to see Daisy and Heidi shining on the telly – they’re fantastic young women who were only mildly embarrassed by their dad’s geeky maths trousers.
“We’re grateful for all the support of #TeamSmith, including from our biggest fan, [son] Logan! It’s weird that folk have started to recognise us when we’re out and about, Heidi’s even been asked for her autograph! We feel really blessed – the show was brilliant and we’ve got loads of lovely memories crammed into our ‘award-winning brains’.”
The fifth member of #TeamSmith, our at-home mascot Logan, found out that we’d won the #FamilyBrainGames in the middle of a TV interview for @BBCScotNine!— Chris Smith (@aap03102) June 28, 2019
His reaction was priceless, watch from 46mins30secs: https://t.co/EBOgad8to5 pic.twitter.com/PGYlrvws3i
East Ayrshire Council celebrated the Smiths' success by describing them as “Britain's brainiest family”. Fiona Campbell, East Ayrshire cabinet member for skills and learning, said that the Smiths’ “problem-solving, communication and maths skills are incredible but it was their wonderful, positive attitude that shone through and made us all so proud”.
She added: “The support they have received from across the world has been wonderful to see. There is even a video on Twitter of former pupils celebrating the Smiths’ win from their holiday in Magaluf.
‘What did you get up to in Magaluf on your holiday with the lads?’— Chris Smith (@aap03102) June 25, 2019
‘We watched our old Maths teacher getting through to the final of #FamilyBrainGames’ #TeamSmith
(where do you think they learned how to make up a song for any occasion?) pic.twitter.com/mhpGVRlNY4
“We are so lucky to have teachers of Chris and Elaine’s calibre working for East Ayrshire Council. They demonstrated to the world the skills that make them wonderful teachers and why they are so loved by their pupils.”