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Engaging your Multi-Academy Trust with Maths Week London | Maths Week London: 28th June - 2nd July

Written by Natasha Dolling, Director of Mathematics at LEO Academy Trust 

@NatashaDolling

@LEO_maths 

 

As a Maths Director in a primary setting, I am always looking for opportunities to excite and enthuse our pupils with mathematics learning and broaden their horizons to maths opportunities outside of the classroom.

Working across six primary academies with around 3,500 pupils, it is imperative to have a clear vision and ethos to communicate to individual academies and their maths leaders. Looking to other areas of the curriculum, World Book Day and British Science Week have a national awareness and ease of engagement through the obvious activities such as dressing up as favourite book characters and performing daring science experiments.

What could represent the other core subject to have the same level of engagement and participation? The answer is, of course, Maths Week London! 

Upon hearing about this celebration of maths across the capital, it had everything that I had been searching for. The ability to capture the attention of staff, parents and pupils alike, engage pupils with maths learning across the whole school and connect with maths learners on a regional level. Furthermore, it gives teachers an opportunity to incorporate real-life maths outside of their regular maths lessons, and ultimately, give attention to the diverse, creative and innovative subject that mathematics is. 

It was in the midst of all of this planning that schools were closed due to Covid 19. While this initially made me think that Maths Week London was cancelled, once the dust had settled and we all got into the rhythm of distance learning, I thought there was no reason that a celebration of maths learning couldn’t happen! My attention turned to tasks and activities that could be done at home with few or no resources. Luckily, maths is all around us and this is where I took my inspiration from. I wanted what little outdoor time we had to become a rich mathematical experience, from noticing numbers on doors and car registration plates, to spotting parallel lines in windows and perpendicular lines in paving stones. 
Taking inspiration from great maths organisations & iniatives such as The Mayor’s Fund for London’s Count On Us Primary Challenge, NCETM, Nrich and White Rose,  I will be filming a daily maths challenge, designed to explain and inspire both children and parents and demonstrate how far they could take their maths learning! 
I will also be contributing to a Maths Week London Activity Pack that will be emailed out to all sign-ups before half-term. It has ideas for each Key Stage to be getting involved in at home, or outside for daily exercise. From making Venn diagrams with leaves, tally charts of all the rainbows you see in windows on your daily walk, making numbers in nature, to making growing patterns with household objects, these tasks are designed with lockdown in mind! We want parents and children alike to be immersed in the mathematics all around them, despite not being in a school setting. 

Any maths that is done at home we want to celebrate! Please send in any pictures, drawings, activities that you do to twitter, using #MathsWeekLDN or on the Facebook page. I am sure that no matter what the future brings, we are going to continue spotting maths in real life and coming up with ingenious ways to solve never thought about problems- both online and offline.

A huge thank you to all of the schools, teachers, parents and children who are making this all happen and keeping maths learning alive and buzzing in the capital! 

Written by Natasha Dolling, Director of Mathematics at LEO Academy Trust 

@NatashaDolling

@LEO_maths