Countdown is on to Liverpool’s maths party

Liverpool is holding a city-wide maths party on Friday 17 June involving pupils from around 150 schools, nurseries and children’s centres.

The aim is to celebrate mathematics and show young people aspects of the subject they may never have seen before, as part of a big drive to raise standards in the subject, titled Liverpool Counts.

Pupils of all ages will be taking part in activities including parties and a maths trail, as well as special lessons.

The day will see students learning to work in teams, taking leadership roles and learning to listen and co-operate with others.

It is planned to be a rich learning experience for all students and an enjoyable day, and the highlights include:

• Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA) holding a maths world trading game, a maths murder mystery and a Pirates of the Caribbean boat race

• Granby Children’s Centre holding a maths party at lunchtime with sandwiches made from different shapes, party games and number rhymes

• Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI) doing workshops at Mosspits and St Oswald’s Primary Schools looking at how maths and geometry is used by dancers to create shapes and patterns

• There will also be a maths competition in which pupils will follow a trail around the city centre counting Liverpool landmarks such as the number of trees on a road, flagpoles and the numbers on clocks

Although exam results have improved in Liverpool over the last decade, performance in maths still lags behind English and recent changes to the GCSE examination means it now incorporates many topics that were previously confined to the A level paper.

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet member for education and skills, said: “Liverpool schools have made massive progress over the last decade and exam results have improved immensely, but maths results lag behind those in English.

“Good numeracy skills are an increasingly important part of many skilled jobs and essential to everyday life as an adult. If you can’t do maths then you won’t be able to understand your payslips and bills, or get the best shopping deals.

“The maths party is about making numeracy accessible and fun and showing that is not just about what you do in maths lessons.”

Parents are also being encouraged to get involved as younger pupils will have a bag with mathematical activities they can use with mum and dad at home, while those with older children have access to a “virtual bag” which they can use as a family.

Liverpool Counts is spearheaded by the Liverpool Learning Partnership, which represents all education sectors and all learners in Liverpool.

Elaine Rees, Chief Executive of Liverpool Learning Partnership, said: “There is still a perception that maths is something you either can or can’t do and it only matters if you’re interested in going into certain careers.

“The fact is that we all need to use maths every single day of the year when doing things at home, work or out with friends. It’s everything from weighing out ingredients for baking through to household budgeting.

“This is about shining a spotlight on maths and showing pupils and parents how important it is in every aspect of our lives and an opportunity for pupils to see how interesting and exciting a mathematical challenge can be.”