December, Mathematics Puzzle Day, is one of those days where pupils are stretched and pulled, albeit mathematically, in many directions. The aim of the day is to develop pupils’ problem solving strategies and skills when working in teams and independently, but also to show that maths is a really fun subject!
This year we had many activities for the pupils (and teachers): mathematical murder mysteries, 24 Challenge, relay races, computing, problem solving, and Islamic geometric design. The pupils got a chance to meet Eric Broug, a worldwide renowned author and lecturer on Islamic geometric design. He introduced the heritage and history of Islamic geometric design and, inspired by the madrasas in Morocco and the Alhambra in Spain, the pupils created their own Islamic geometric patterns.
The children were buzzing from the activities on offer and the playground was ‘trending’ with words such as: tessellations, prime numbers, escape room and Hans murdered Ralph (don’t worry – they were characters from the Simpsons).
Steven Insua-Cao and Tom Hartnett from the Problem Solving company left the children and staff puzzled with their activities, but thoroughly enriched and challenged. One amazing effect of hosting a maths day is to hear children talking mathematically when explaining a task to a friend or a strategy to a team. The Computing department continued where they left off last year and stealthily stretched the pupils with Star Wars code (code.org), Mathletics and Scratch. An incredible day of fun and mathematics – who would have thought it…