On Friday,14th and Thursday 20th March, Mathematics Consultant, Grahame Smart was invited to the academy to deliver a 10 lesson module 'Rock Club’ numeracy activities to year 7 pupils.
Rock Club puts students in the position of being a large-scale event organiser. Namely, a pop concert for 10,000 young people at Wembley Arena. Students need to make decisions about which artists and acts they can afford to hire for the concert and how to use the respective stage layouts. With 10,000 excited teenagers attending, students must also make sure there are enough catering facilities for the venue and much more.
Rock Club links mathematics to real life in a natural way and presents students with an opportunity to develop their mathematic skills and knowledge whilst working on a series of real world problems.
The main curriculum areas which were covered during the day were Data Handling, Time, Area and Perimeter, Plans and Elevation, Angles, Loci, Construction, Scale and Measurement. The topics were treated in form of functional mathematics. Pupils were well engaged throughout the day and they enjoyed all the activities.
The lessons are all designed to focus on problem solving and investigating whilst simultaneously linking different corners of the mathematics curriculum. The lessons also focused on the students ability to communicate their mathematical findings clearly and concisely to their teacher and peers.
Having an overall objective of organising an event helps students to develop their problem solving and learning skills. The winning group not only displayed mathematical accuracy but also were able to sell their vision of the event. This focus means that there is also a focus on the ‘soft skills’ that are so vital for developing future success.
The student outcomes were measured by pre and post questionnaires with students and staff. At the end of the activities 91% of the pupils said they felt more confident doing Maths. In short, the whole thing could be summarised by the feedback given by one of the pupils who said ‘I have never liked Maths before, but since I got to this school, I’m beginning to like it’.
Winners were chosen per cohort of pupils having taken into consideration their mathematical accuracy and team work.
Winners of Year 7 Maths Rock Club Competition
Group 1 Winners (from left to right are Mr Ade, Kelsey, Toni and Kayleigh and Mr Smart, the Maths Consultant)
Group 2 Winners (front row from left to right are Mr Ade, Dylan, Regan ,Thomas and Mr Smart, the Maths Consultant. Rear row are Cameron, Cassius and Jack)