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"'Fun' is not a Dirty Word in Maths!"

This term, top set Year 9 Mathematicians have been experimenting with a different kind of learning environment as they broaden their mathematical skills. Two of our innovative teachers, Mr Widdop (Head of Maths) and Mr Duncan decided to challenge their classes with these special problem solving and enrichment sessions in our main hall. Ten teams of six faced four challenges during the unusual lesson:

The first challenge was about shape and space. Students had to work as a team to enclose the maximum area from a variety of shapes. This kinesthetic learning helped to warm up the groups' body and mind.

For the second challenge, students had 'new GCSE' style problems to solve and could do so as individuals or pairs within their team, or work together and solve as a group.  A great introduction to some of the questions they'll have on the new exam format.

The third task was designed to improve students' fluency and accuracy of calculations, as nationally, all students seem to struggle in this area. No calculators were allowed as individuals used pen and paper to show their working.

The final team challenge required fingers on buzzers as teams used mental maths, revision skills and ICT to try and beat their peers in a Kahoot quiz. Kahoot turns a smart phone in to a multiple choice pad and teams are awarded extra points for speed, accuracy and consecutive correct answers.

The students were really engaged and competitive. Proof that 'fun' is not a dirty word in Maths! Mr Duncan and I were excited by how well it went, and the students were stoked. There was a real buzz in the hall! We managed to get through every task and are looking forward to the next session, which may have a 'disaster relief' theme... watch this space! - Mr Widdop

The Mathematical Duo will be working with the top set Year 9's fortnightly on similar sessions and Year 11 middle sets are pairing up for weekly exam preparation classes in the hall already.

Our new sports hall has enabled these special 'collapsed class' sessions to take place as there is now more opportunity to use the main hall. The sports hall is due to open after half term when some PE lessons will move from the outside sports areas to take place inside.