How to make Maths fun again

Date Posted: 17/05/2017

The TES recently reported that the Maths sats exams had reduced pupils to tears. Here are a few ideas for school trips that should bring the subject back to life for pupils.

On the TES online forum, teachers were calling the Maths sats exam 'harder than previous years' and saying the test was 'too difficult for middle ability pupils'.

At the same time, teachers were describing how the content of the test, which was taken by 500,000 children countrywide, had reduced their pupils to tears. 

Subsequently, many children may be going in to school totally disengaged with the subject. So here are a few school trips that should show them that studying Maths doesn't have to be a painful and upsetting experience.

Cadbury World, Birmingham

Pupils visiting Cadbury World can follow a Maths Trail around the attraction. As they explore the various exhibitions they have to answer a range of Maths based questions. Puzzles range from the relative cost of an ancient Mayan cocoa bean to working out which direction America is from England. Maths is just one topic in the spectrum that can be studied at Cadbury World. Cross curricular trips can also combine Business, Geography, History and Design. 

The Pirate Castle, London

Located in Camden, The Pirate Castle is a charity. It runs Pirate Activity Days for classes of up to 30 pupils at a time. Activity days can be tailored to suit the needs of the school, so problem solving and numeracy can be factored that could include a canal boat trip on the Regents Canal, flag making demonstrations, team games, kayaking, pirate ship building and sessions in which pupils debate and discuss a pirate charter. 

Diggerland, UK wide

At Diggerland pupils get hands-on experience of driving and operating real diggers and dumpers in a variety of fun ways. There are currently four UK Diggerland Adventure Parks that run school trips; Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire. Visits can be linked to the National Curriculum in Maths, as pupils learn about the different sizes of vehicles, mechanics, hydraulics, and performance. 

Wet N Wild, North Shields

Tie classroom Maths sessions in to a visit to Wet N Wild. The indoor water park offers ten slides, which can be used to study shape, angles, measurements, multiplication and division. Options include the Kamikaze, which is 80 metres long and shoots riders to speeds of 30 miles per hour, and the The Tornado, which children can use to race each other on. Maths sessions can also be tied in to other elements at the waterpark, like the cost of the lockers (£2 deposit at a time), and the cost of food in the cafe. 

ZipWorld, Wales

Zip World offers schools adventures in three locations across North Wales. Pupils aged ten and above can ride on Velocity, a zip line that's thought to be the fastest and longest in Europe. They can also take part in the underground adventure course at Zip World Caverns and experience the subterranean playground at Bounce Below. A five-seater swing, treetop net course, and a freefall experience called Plummet are also options for schools. Visits can be linked to classroom sessions on everything from angles to multiplication. 

School Travel Organiser's Guide