Being a mathematician and quite reliable with numbers, I am 99% sure that Mathematics Puzzle Day (MPD) is the most important day for the children in December…

This year MPD was held on Tuesday 12th December and once again the pupils were stretched and pulled, albeit mathematically, in many directions.

The aim of the day was 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): Sum Fun, relay races, 3D Frenzy and various computer coding activities.

The Problem Solving Company returned for a second year and left the children and staff puzzled with their activities, but thoroughly enriched and challenged.

We were also honoured to have a visit from Tom Briggs and his Enigma Machine from Bletchley Park, who told us this was the actual machine used in the film ‘The Imitation Game’. The children listened to the story of how this Enigma machine had been used to send secret messages and the role of Polish and British mathematicians during World War II. He also taught the children about secret codes and ciphers, some of our children even had the opportunity to make their own.

There was a real sense of excitement going around the school.  It was wonderful to hear children talking about making their own ciphers, building Platonic Solids at home and in computing, and wanting to play Sum Fun in their maths lessons.

For the first time this year some of the children created an inter-school blog and took photos of their day.

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.

Many thanks to Gareth Simpson for the enormous amount of work he put in to organising an incredible day of fun and mathematics – if only we could have maths like this everyday…