Mathematics at BSB
We want children to be excited about Maths, to be enthusiastic about Maths and to develop a love of logic, puzzles and problem solving.
First off, as children line up in the dining room, they are presented with a weekly maths challenge, which they can think about over lunch. Children then submit their answers and, most importantly, explain their reasoning. The answer with the best explanation each week is presented with a certificate at assembly. This challenge is not compulsory and is open to all but mainly aimed at KS2. It is very pleasing to hear children chatting about it over lunch and to see entries from Year 1 and 2 on a regular basis.
The 7th March was World Maths Day and BSB joined in with gusto! We had a full day of mathematical activities for children from Pre Nursery to Year 5.
In Early Years children were about to develop and use their prepositional language by completing an obstacle course around the playground. Children followed the signs, made using Makaton, pictures and words, practising in, on, under, through, over, along etc. From there they were able to go on a shape hunt around the playground finding 7 different shapes of various different colours. Back in the classroom they combined fine motor skills with number recognition by matching pegs with shapes and numbers, using tweezers to sort cubes according to colour and number and made some wonderful symmetrical pictures using wooden shapes and paint. Reception also made some non-standard measures using their feet and measured all over the school!
KS1 and KS2 took part in a carousel of activities competing in their houses. Each house had an opportunity to compete in the Mathletics World Games and compete against children from all around the world. They then moved on to play giant snakes and ladders, giant Connect 4, building the tallest tower and Racing to 100 in the Giant Maths area. While all this was going on the Portuguese and Music departments were also involved with a Tangram challenge taking place in Portuguese and Musical Maths happening with an investigation into rhythm and beats and composition in Garage Band. The final challenge gave houses 45 minutes to answer as many out of 50 questions calculating around the school in the Maths Trail. Points were calculated, added and revealed and the whole school came together to celebrate the participation and congratulate the winners for the day.
The promotion of Maths continued the following week with everyone in Year 3, 4 and 5 taking part in the Kangaroo maths competition "Canguru de Mathemática, Brasil". This is a global competition with over 50 countries taking part and it primarily tests logic and reasoning rather than pure mathematical knowledge. What was wonderful to see this year was the positive attitude to some really tricky questions and that all children gave it their best. Results will arrive in May and we have high hopes for some medals at BSB!
By giving the children the chance to take part in competitions and use their mathematical skills not just in class but in a fun, friendly way children have become more willing to take a chance, willing to make mistakes and try again and as a school they have become more confident in what they can do.