The pupils of Class P7 at St Louise Primary School in East Kilbride have been named Scottish maths champions after winning a nationwide online maths contest run by education technology platform Sumdog to mark this year’s Maths Week Scotland.
The class collected their winners’ trophy from Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney on a special visit to the Scottish Parliament.
Maths Week Scotland 2018 took place between the 10th and 16th September and featured events across Scotland with the aim of transforming public attitudes to maths and helping everyone in Scotland to see maths positively. It follows a very successful first ever Maths Week Scotland which took place in September 2017.
Like last year, Sumdog organised an online maths contest to coincide with Maths Week Scotland using its interactive online learning system. The system is specifically designed to improve skills and attainment in maths and literacy and is carefully aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence. School pupils from across Scotland were encouraged to take part in this year’s contest, with participating classes working together as a team to achieve the highest average number of maths questions answered correctly out of 1,000.
Class P7 at St Louise Primary School in East Kilbride came out top with a class average score of 916, 8 points ahead of their nearest rivals. Part of their prize for winning is a six month subscription to Sumdog, which will give pupils unrestricted access to the Sumdog e-learning platform while enabling their teacher to use a range of measuring and reporting tools to make the most of Sumdog to support their maths teaching.
In total, more than 5,600 classes from across almost 960 Scottish schools took part in this year’s Sumdog Maths Week Scotland contest, a 15% increase on the 4,900 classes taking part last year. The total number of pupils participating in the contest this year was almost 79,000, a 43% rise on the number who took part last year. During this year’s contest, more than 20 million maths questions were answered, over 3 million more than in 2017, with 83% of them answered correctly.
Sumdog’s core mission is to help close the attainment gap between pupils from the least and most deprived backgrounds. The company recently released the results of research showing that regular usage of its online maths learning system has contributed to a 20% reduction in the attainment gap for numeracy in Glasgow during the 2017-18 school year. Now used in over 70% of Scottish schools, Sumdog Maths has been designed to engage pupils more fully with maths and numeracy learning, with particular attention paid to helping those who find the subjects challenging.
Presenting St Louise Primary School’s Class P7 with their winning trophy, John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said:
“Maths Week is at the heart of our drive to make Scotland more positive in its attitude towards numeracy and maths so it is great to see so many students taking part in competitions like the Sumdog challenge.
“Raising awareness about the importance and relevance of maths is vital as it is a significant feature of all aspects of our lives and helps us to make sense of a world increasingly underpinned by data analysis, science, technology and engineering.
“With an incredible 20 million questions answered by classes across Scotland during this year’s Maths Week, the pupils of St Louise Primary School should be particularly proud of their achievement.”
Commenting on behalf of St Louise Primary School, Head Teacher Siobhan Mooty said:
“This is only the second Sumdog contest our P7 pupils have taken part in so to have come out as Scottish champions is really fantastic. It was a lovely experience for them to be able to make the trip to the Scottish Parliament and to be presented with their winners’ trophy by Mr Swinney. I think it’s been a really valuable lesson in great teamwork and it’s also been a really fun way to develop their maths skills. Everyone at the school is really proud of their achievement.”
Sumdog CEO Andrew Hall said:
“The purpose of Sumdog is to make real and measurable improvements in maths attainment by all pupils who use it – and to achieve this by making maths learning fun.
“We’re particularly delighted to see such a big increase in participation in this year’s Maths Week Scotland Sumdog contest compared to last year. It’s great once again to have been able to get so many pupils and teachers right across the country to engage with Maths Week Scotland through the Sumdog contest and we’re looking forward to even bigger and better things in 2019.
“I’m also really grateful to Mr. Swinney for presenting the winners’ trophy and really impressed with the P7 pupils of St Louise Primary School for the maths ability they’ve shown to come out as national winners in only their second ever Sumdog contest. Congratulations to all of them.”