We are very excited to once again be involved in England Maths Week. Form times have been filled with online quests, Yohaku puzzles and ‘Where is the Maths in that?’ –  images showing Maths really is everywhere. Monday kicked off with a simple, but wide-reaching puzzle.

How many words can you think of with horizontal symmetry? Write down as many as you can.

Solutions flowed in from all year groups with Year 3 coming up with the most examples, such as: KICKED, CHOCO, BEE, COOKED, BEECH and there were even some French answers from Madame Clayton in the mix.

The Great House Maths Race has also returned. Problem solving is central to the Mastery approach of Maths learning. Children need to be able to use their knowledge of concepts to solve unfamiliar word problems and undertake complex reasoning that doesn’t rely on rehearsed procedures. This emulates the experience of problem solving in the real world which can be unique and unfamiliar.  This year, children competed within 2 year groups, tackling a range of problem solving questions in House groups of 3 or 4. By collaborating the children needed to communicate their reasoning and understanding to ensure all in the team agree with the answer before submitting it to the marking table – to determine if they can continue to the next, increasily difficult question.

We kicked off on  Monday with Year 5 and 6 battling in a high speed, frensy of maths question answering.

Have a go at one of the questions they tackled.

With an impressive 20 out of a possible 25, the Paxton team of Ethan E, Theodora G, and Mia G took the first position leading Paxton into an early lead. But with Saxton and Aston just 0.5 and 0.75 behind respectively, all was to play for.

Next up were Years 3 and 4 on Tuesday.

One of their problems was:

The excitable hum of problem solving was evident and groups were working hard to get the answer correct on the first attempt if possible. The final position was hotly contested with the Ashton team of Yuzu M, Seren K, Harriet R and Teddy H pipping 3 other teams to the top spot by just 1 point.

Finally on Wednesday, Years 7 and 8 took on the challenge, solving problems right up to the final whistle.

They solved problems like:

Congratulations to Seb B, Anna M and Monty G for leading their Paxton team to victory with 3 teams closely behind them by just one point!

All the points will be totted up to find the overall house winner and will be announced in Assembly on Monday.

Alongside the excitement of the Great House Race, Years 5 and 6 also took part in the annual Primary Mathematics Challenge, set by the Mathematical Association, now on its 150th Anniversary. The children attempted 25 questions in 45 minutes, attempting a new set of unfamiliar problems, similar to those above. The results of this are eagerly awaited for and will also be announced in Assembly on Monday.

Alison Trip