Supporting Maths Outdoors
The pupils at Chacewater Community Primary School are excelling at maths in class, but Headteacher Mr Chris Gould wanted a way to support his pupils’ maths learning outside the classroom. Here at Schoolscapes we were delighted to be able to help to provide a solution: introducing our new, practical, outdoor Maths Wall. We went to visit the pupils at Chacewater, after hearing all the positive feedback. We were delighted to hear how all the children had taken to the Maths Wall straight away, loving the fact that they could now do hands-on maths outside! During our visit, the children were very keen to use the giant, magnetic Maths Wall to demonstrate how their teachers had been using it for teaching, as well as being particularly enthusiastic to share their own individual ideas for activities and game.
We loved the way the children worked so collaboratively, demonstrating great clarity in expression and mathematical language whilst sharing their ideas. We were so impressed by the way they all exhibited fantastic listening and concentration skills whilst learning about and participating in each other’s games. The outdoors Maths board was certainly helping to develop their social and life skills, whilst they were having outdoors maths fun. One girl particularly loved the multiplication square and was enjoying hiding the answers on the grid with a magnetic counter and challenging her friends to come up with the answers. A boy, also enjoying the magnetic properties of the board, exclaimed that he liked “ to use the magnetic coins to make solving money problems easier. I like maths outside better.” His friend said he loved “the maths slider because I can hide bits of my number sentence and make it tricky for my mates.” Another girl enjoyed using a whiteboard pen to write out her own calculations. They all worked quickly and collaboratively to build a magnetic number line and enjoyed removing numerals and spotting the missing numbers. The fun factor was infectious. Our Schoolscapes team even had a go! The children all revealed that they enjoyed building the fraction wheels and told us how it was helping them to learn percentages and decimal equivalent fractions! Needless to say, all the visiting Schoolscapes team were very impressed! The teachers shared that they were all very pleased with their new Maths Wall, especially as it allowed their children to voluntarily and clearly demonstrate the level of their maths understanding. They also liked this innovative outdoor maths resource because it provided a platform for pupils to talk together about maths and come up with their own games. It also supported useful real-life applications for the maths that their pupils had learnt inside the classroom. Staff were delighted that both boys and girls were naturally demonstrating a great understanding of maths as well as a huge enthusiasm for using maths outdoors. They were particularly excited about all the future opportunities for taking maths outside the classroom on a regular basis. We think the teachers will now be regularly spotted enjoying all maths outdoors has to offer! Teachers were very pleased with how popular the maths board was with all children, even during free play times and remarked how well used it was already, but we're happy that the high quality, robust resource was standing up to the wear and tear of busy little fingers!
Mr Gould, Head Teacher and leading Maths Advanced Skills Teacher, was particularly pleased that his pupils and staff could now take maths more easily into the outdoors environment. He stated that “a high level of maths knowledge and understanding is a crucial skill for all our pupils to achieve, to be successful in the real world of work. We are so pleased with how the Maths Wall has supported all teachers and pupils in taking all areas of mathematics outdoors. Its applications are limitless! We are also delighted with the installation and know that this high-quality maths resource will continue to provide a valuable maths base for all our pupils to benefit from, way into the future.” The teachers also gave us some valuable feedback and we have listened and made a few exciting improvements to the Maths Wall, making it even more relevant and useful in today’s world of creative maths teaching. We are looking forward to hearing back from all the other schools who now have installed our Maths Wall. We are proud that we are helping so many children develop maths mastery, by using and applying their maths knowledge and understanding and by supporting them in actively engaging in real life problem solving outdoors. We are also so pleased that our Maths Wall has provided an ideal outside base to record ideas, predictions and observations during the school’s exciting STEM investigations. They have discovered that our outdoor maths board offers support to all learners when they are using and applying maths across the Curriculum, during any outdoor learning, exploration or investigation. We thank all the Staff and Children of Chacewater Community Primary School; we were so pleased that they have well and truly tested out our new and exclusive Maths Wall! We loved hearing their enthusiastic ideas and were totally stunned with their incredible maths ability and maths imaginations!