Maths magic for Northumberland youngsters

Year 6 pupils from Sts Peters and Pauls, and St Wilfrids visiting St Benet Biscops to take part in a maths transitional event where they created a Maths Maze.  Assistant headteacher Ryan Smailes (centre) who oversees maths in the senior school with students from both schools.

Year 6 pupils from Sts Peters and Pauls, and St Wilfrids visiting St Benet Biscops to take part in a maths transitional event where they created a Maths Maze. Assistant headteacher Ryan Smailes (centre) who oversees maths in the senior school with students from both schools.

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YOUNG people from three schools in Northumberland have been treated to a mathematical masterclass by Dr Maths.

The workshop, led by Steve Humble aka Dr Maths, was arranged by local charity Leading Link, as part of a Year 6 transition programme for young people starting St Benet Biscop High School in September.

Having worked as a maths subject leader in various educational establishments for over 20 years, Steve has spent the last five years as a senior regional coordinator for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM).

In his role as a maths publicist, Steve Humble writes puzzle books, school resources and a fortnightly newspaper column to help create greater interest and understanding of mathematics.

He also holds the Guinness World Record for the most children learning maths outside the classroom.

Students from St Bede’s Primary School in Bedlington, St Peter and Paul’s Primary School in Cramlington, and St Wilfrid’s Primary School in Blyth, were invited to the high school for the two hour workshop, which involves using logic puzzles and playground games to help develop a positive attitude to maths.

In groups, they then designed their own puzzles, drawing their completed brainteasers outside on the school playground with chalk.

St Benet Biscop assistant headteacher, Ryan Smailes, said: “It is fantastic to see students exploring maths in fun and imaginative ways.
“I think this experience will improve students perceptions of maths as well as easing any worries they may have about starting at a new school in September.”

Leading Link manager, Lyn Horton, added: “Bringing in Dr Maths is part of an overall transition programme that we are using to introduce the Year 6 students to each other.

“Before Christmas, they were involved in a Roving Reporters workshop, and after Easter, they will return for ‘Who Killed Bobbie Bear?’ which is a forensic investigation day.

“Bringing English, maths and science alive an interactive way and using it as a transition tool is a first for Leading Link, but we believe that the young people are really starting to reap the benefits of being involved in these ‘taster days’.”

Dr Maths then facilitated two parent evenings called the Maths Plus Factor in St Benet Biscop Catholic High School and St Benedict’s in Ashington.