‘I’m not an artist, I’m a mathematician’

Last week pupils across the GDST enjoyed an inspiring week of STEAM activities, based on the work of the artist M.C.Escher.

GDST Junior Maths Conference 2021

Led by our Trust Consultant Teacher for Maths, Rebecca Brown, pupils in Year 6 were invited to take part in a range of activities blending maths and arts and encouraged to share their work through the virtual platform, Flipgrid. Pupils experimented making infinity triangles, creating tessellations and platonic solids and tested their mental maths skills in the GDST-wide quiz.

Speaking about the event, Rebecca said it was a delight to see the engagement and enthusiasm from pupils as they explored the beauty and depth of mathematics beyond the curriculum. They worked on various creative challenges that explored symmetry, tessellations, 3D models and nets. Sharing their findings with other pupils across the GDST family, they showed how collaboration and creativity are at the heart of mathematical practice, embracing the art of play in the subject and breaking down the barriers and perceptions that mathematics is not for everyone.

On Friday pupils enjoyed a fabulous interactive session led by the Maths communicator, Zoe Griffiths. In her talk, Zoe shared some mind-boggling shape tricks to introduce her three favourites; the sphere, the rectangle and the Mobius loop. Pupils explored the magic of maths and an introduction to theorems such as the one cut theorem, cutting any straight sided shape with from only one cut, a trick for all to enjoy (ask a Y6 pupil to enlighten you!).

The week culminated in an GDST cross-school collaborative quiz with some hugely challenging Maths puzzles. Well done to the winning team from Northwood College for Girls who answered some fiendishly difficult questions.

The junior Maths conference is one of many events designed and run across the GDST which show Maths as fun and engaging. STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) subjects are most definitely not off limits to GDST pupils, 9.2% of whom went on in 2020 to read medicine or dentistry; 4.6% to read the physical sciences (including physics and chemistry); 3.1% to read engineering, 3.2% maths or computer sciences. All of these figures are well above national girls’ participation rates in these subjects.