# Head of Mathematics

Year 7 students were given a survey in their first Maths lesson this year to ascertain their attitudes towards mathematics. Below are some findings:

- 55% of students stated that they liked maths
- 51% of students thought that they are good at maths
- 73% of students thought that some people are naturally good at maths and some are not

This year, the Mathematics Faculty has embarked on a new program to change negative perceptions about Mathematics, to promote a ‘growth mindset’, to encourage risk taking and perseverance when faced with challenging problems and have fun! Once a fortnight students engage in challenging problem solving activities in small groups. The students work collaboratively to attempt to solve challenges like:

- acting out scenarios to determine how robots, monsters and animals can successfully cross a river
- using blocks to draw 3 dimensional shapes from various perspectives
- walking up and down stairs to determine the number of different ways 10 stairs can be climbed
- using counters to win a game of Leap Froggies
- creating their own strategies to solve maths puzzles NIM and Old Gold
- producing “mathemagical” problems for each other to solve

The students are enjoying this approach to solving problems in Mathematics, as shown in this student’s reflection:

“My problem solving skills have improved by watching other people and learning the way that they solve the problem”

Last term, 26 students participated in the Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) competition. The CAT competition is a one-hour problem-solving competition which seeks to identify computer programming potential—skills which students might not normally have an opportunity to demonstrate in the classroom. We received 14 Credits and 2 Distinctions. Congratulations to Charlotte Forwood (Year 7) and Gina Mark (Year 10) on receiving Distinction Awards.

*Ms Kylie Wiles*

*Acting Head of Mathematics*