Sumdog’s Maths Week Scotland Contest – catching up with the 2018 winners
We are really excited to be supporting Maths Week Scotland once again, celebrating maths and its importance in our daily lives. Between 27th September and 3rd October children can take part in Sumdog’s free Maths Week Scotland contest.
Classes will compete across the country to be in with a chance of winning the Sumdog trophy, which will be presented during an exclusive visit to Sumdog HQ!
With this fantastic government initiative fast approaching, we caught up with Claire Docherty, proud teacher of 2018’s winning class.
Entering the national contest for the first time
Having used our platform as part of her teaching for the past 6-7 years, it was no surprise to find out that Claire’s Primary 7 at St. Louise Primary were regular users of Sumdog.
Although all classes at St. Louise regularly entered Sumdog contests, this was the first time they had participated in Maths Week Scotland. “We decided to really get involved with Maths Week Scotland, taking part in several activities across the week and thought that the Sumdog contest would be a great addition. We were all familiar with how Sumdog worked and the class were really excited to take part.”
Initially they were playing for fun, enjoying friendly competition with other classes and younger siblings in the school. It was only when one of her pupils spotted their class name near the top of the Sumdog leaderboard that they realised they could actually win. “Once the pupils knew they had a chance to come first place, they became even more determined!”
The contest changed pupils’ perspective on accuracy vs speed
As the contest continued, Claire began to notice a real shift in the children’s attitudes towards maths. “The contest completely changed their perspective on accuracy vs. speed. My pupils were constantly reminding each other to concentrate on the accuracy of their answers and not to rush. This was great to see as a teacher.”
The contest also encouraged pupils to work together after realising they could only win as a class if everyone participated, with Claire describing it “a real team effort”.
The competition between other classes in the school played a big part in the Maths Week Scotland experience. A number of Claire’s pupils had younger siblings in the school which encouraged friendly class rivalry between different age groups.
“It was the right balance between fun and challenging.”
“The beauty of it is that it’s the child against themselves. Children didn’t feel any less than one another as they would appear to be playing the same games and competing in the same things but it would be at a level suited to them. It was the right balance between fun and challenging.”
Involving parents in the learning experience
Not only were other classes getting involved but parents also wanted to join in the fun. “I used twitter to communicate with the parents during and after the competition and of course the children talked of nothing else.
I met many of them face to face at breakfast club and after school during the week, they were so supportive in giving their children extra time online and I managed to engage with parents I don’t usually which was a bonus.”
Flexibility was another important factor for Claire and the fact that children could take part both at home and in school worked well for her class. “I wouldn’t necessarily set it as homework but the higher they climbed the leaderboard, the more the children wanted to take part at home and win. It was nice to have the option for children to carry on participating at home.”
The Sumdog contest was a win for the whole school
Playing on their Chromebooks until the final minute, Claire’s class were so excited to see themselves at the top of the leaderboard “we were absolutely delighted when we found out – the children were so happy”.
After answering an average of 916 questions correctly throughout the week, Claire and her class won a free 6 month Sumdog maths subscription, a trip to the Scottish Parliament and a trophy presented by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
“It was the absolute highlight of our year”
Although it was the P7s who took home the trophy, Claire described it as “a win for the whole school”. Pupils were praised at the school assembly, sent congratulatory cards from surrounding schools and even received a letter from local MP Lisa Cameron!
Pinpointing where pupils needed to focus
Having never had a subscription before, Claire was really excited to be given an access all areas pass to Sumdog. The pupils were quick to find the extra 21 games available but it was the extra teacher tools Claire found particularly useful.
“It gave me another way of assessing what the children did and didn’t know.
You could then go into the reports to pinpoint exactly where children were making their mistakes. From that I could then work out who needed more work in certain areas and show the children how and where they were making progress.
I could also align Sumdog to what I was teaching at that time, taking topics such as fractions and decimals and setting specific actions for the class to tailor the games.”
Enter the 2019 contest now!
With such an exciting 2018, Claire’s new class now face the challenge to continue the winning streak at St. Louise Primary as they sign up for the 2019 contest.
Why not join St. Louise and enter your class into the Maths Week Scotland Contest 2019. You can even sign up now for free and begin practising to become familiar with Sumdog before the contest begins. Good luck!
- Completely free
- Boost children’s confidence with personalised maths practice
- Motivate children with a friendly online contest against neighbouring schools
- Tailored questions based on accuracy ensure every child has a fair chance of winning
- Great prizes to be won, including a trip to Sumdog HQ!
For more information about the Maths Week Scotland contest and how you can get involved, click here.