Primary Year 5 & 6 Maths Challenge

It was protractors & compasses at dawn as Ark Academy hosted the ARK Maths Challenge for our Primary Year 5 & 6 Mathmagicians & their spirited (and competitive!) peers from across the network.  

The students enjoyed testing their skills in a team, partaking in several brain busting activities such as code cracking and Sudoku.

Ark students Athiya and Maria said: ‘We have been doing Tangrams (ancient Chinese puzzles) – it’s when you have 7 shapes and you have to make several other shapes out of those.It was lots of fun and challenging as well.' Their favourite and most difficult shape? 'It had to be the square because even though it looked easy, it wasn’t.'

One highlight of the day was the coding activity. Globe Academy’s representatives Olivia, Ilham, Massoud and Farhan explained: ‘Coding is when you shift letters to find a secret message, like they did during the world wars. It was really fun.’

A confident Farhan found this task fairly easy: ‘From a scale of 1-10 it was 0000000.10 out of 10! The last one we couldn’t really get but the other 3, 2 of them we got and 1 we got half of.

The Blacklands Academy students were big fans of the subject:

Hannah: It’s been really good because I really like Maths and being able to compete doing my favourite subject is really cool.

When asked why it’s better to compete against all the other schools, Maria told us:

‘We usually compete in school every day in class or during extra challenges and when other schools come here we get to learn different techniques so it makes it more exciting.’

She believed this also added to the competitive element:

‘We don’t know most of the people here and they’ve got different ways of solving problems than we do.  We’re used to other people in our class but when other students come here we don’t know the knowledge that they have.’

Hannah agreed: You’re under a lot more pressure and it’s harder because in school normally when you are working stuff out you’re not under the pressure.  When you’re working stuff out here it’s a lot more interesting because it’s a lot harder.

The Oval kids were thinking ahead and felt the Maths challenge would help them in everyday life.

Joshua explained: It will help if we put it on our CV and apply for a job, like if the job is related to Science or Maths. If we have degrees or GCSEs in Maths or even something as simple as this, it gives us the best chance of getting the job.'

He also felt the day helped them become more confident at meeting new people: ‘At the beginning your nerves will probably be quite high but as the years go on you’ll get used to it, going to different places.’

The day ended with Ark in 1st place with 295 points, Globe in 2nd with 222 points and Ark Ayrton in 3rd with 200 points. Thanks to all the schools for taking part – we really enjoyed hosting you and hope to see you all again soon!