A one-form entry school in Bolton, Edgworth has a House system that encourages children of different ages to work and socialise together, developing relationships across year groups. So when they were planning a Maths Day where pupils would work in House groups rather than in their normal classes, they asked us if there was a way we could help them. And, as they were particularly interested in The Pirate’s Challenge, we set to work remodelling this ever-popular programme to suit their needs …
So, after The Good Ship Mathematics was swept by a Time Tornado to the banks of the River X, its pirate captain, Richard Morgan, knew exactly what to do. To find the eye of the storm again, and so return to his own time and place, he’d need to enlist some keen mathematicians – and a passer-by, an old lady, told him that Edgeworth Primary was just the place to go. It would be a bit of a walk, she cautioned – but it would be worth it. And so it was, as he met the pupils in five groups of 45 (representing each of the Houses), for just over an hour at a time. The children were understandably surprised to find a pirate in their school – and amazed that he already knew some of their names (the old lady had been a bit of help here). And they were more than ready to take up his Pirate’s Challenge.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the workshops – and continued to talk about Captain Morgan throughout the week!” (Assistant Headteacher)
Following a big and noisy warm-up activity identifying and physicalising some of the 2D and 3D shapes to be found on his ship, the children worked in small groups on a number of tasks. And given that each group contained representatives from Reception to Year 6, each of these was designed to offer something different (and challenging) to every pupil in the group – from counting to positional language to number operations to percentages to interpreting data to algebra (and, of course, much, much more). And picking up on the school’s existing network of Buddy groups, Captain Morgan also provided clear structures by which the older pupils could support the younger ones.
The geography of the school is such that children in the Nursery can just about see what is going in the Hall (which is where the workshops were based) without being part of it. And that’s just about as frustrating as things can be for a 3 year old! So Captain Morgan was very happy to agree to their teachers’ request that he visit them at breaktime and lunchtime so that these children, too, could take part in the Callenge.
Did Edgeworth’s pupils succeed in the Challenge? Did Captain Morgan and The Good Ship Mathematics get back to the Caribbean and the 17th century? Well, the proof is in the pudding – because a few days later, the school received a letter from him, dated 1682, reporting that he was well and truly home!
“Our school target this year is to raise attainment in maths – so raising children’s expectation of maths and getting them excited about maths was an important part of the learning.” (Assistant Headteacher)
Get in touch:
To find out more or to book a creative maths workshop please contact us on 0151 708 8886, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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