Youngsters find life is all about the numbers game
9:52am Tuesday 26th June 2012 in Education News
MATHS lessons certainly add up for the pupils of Turton and Edgworth Primary School.
In the week that it was argued young people should study the subject up to the age of 18, schoolchildren went out and about to find out why maths really does equate to an important life skill.
Youngsters from Years Five and Six ventured out into their village to visit businesses — everything from a pharmacist to a farmer — to work alongside them and discover how maths skills learned in school are used to solve problems in the local community.
They were surprised to discover mental arithmetic was even needed in the middle of a farmer’s field as the number of sheep, the cost and even the field space needed for them had to be calculated “in your head”.
Haven Vincett, aged 11, said: “I have seen how maths is used a lot.”
As well as visiting Wheatsheaf Farm to watch the farmer tend his sheep with the help of his dogs, they visited the local cricket club, where they saw mathematical terms as parallel lines being put into practice when bowling to improve your game.
Catherine Bennett, assistant head teacher, said: “Village Day shows the children how what they learn in the classroom is applied in the community.
“This is the second year we have run it, last year the emphasis was on communication literacy and the local authority used it is an example of outstanding practice.
“This year we concentrated on maths. Pupils have seen why being able to do mental arithmetic is important, often young people feel they can just use a calculator, but by visiting different businesses they realise the purpose of maths and why they need to know their tables — which is exactly what we wanted them to learn.”
Children are now going to take back what they have learned to school, including making a “triangle” which is used by pharmacists to dispense the correct amount of medicine.
Bradley Best, aged 11, said: “It was a an exciting day to see how businesses use maths.”
Jack Reeve, aged 10, added: “It was exciting and interesting day.” Farmer David Whitehead said: “Children look and learn and that is what is about. This shows them country life.”
As well as improving standards the day also strengthened the school’s links with the community.
Mrs Bennett said: “These children are part of this community, and through meeting different people they learn more about where they live and can become active members of their community.”
On the same day the school opened its door to showcase how maths is taught.