It all adds up to fun for pupils learning maths
MATHS may add up to a headache for some, but children at a pioneering Swansea school have said it is as much fun as an episode of Dragon’s Den.
Ynystawe Primary School has been leading the way in Wales to find new and exciting ways to learn the subject.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews selected the school as the venue for the Welsh Government’s new National Numeracy Programme yesterday.
With Swansea Council’s support, Ynystawe primary has been driving up maths standards with programmes that make it fun and enable children to put numeracy skills to work to tackle real-world issues and develop business skills.
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Pupil Lucy Beckett, 10, said: “I am very happy Mr Andrews chose our lovely school to visit and launch the numeracy strategy.
“Our school does lots of interesting and fun activities to help us with our numeracy skills.
“Each year we run a Dragon’s Den where the winners are able to set up their own business stall in the fete. Maths at Ynystawe is meaningful, and, above all, fun.”
One of the projects is called The Biz, in which children meet weekly to gain valuable experience and an opportunity to understand what having a business is all about.
Pupils put their numeracy to work developing business ideas, creating a business plan to highlight profit and loss, designing a logo, an advert and a proto-type of their product.
“The results are presented to staff, fellow pupils and the local community.
Callum Dougal, 11, said: “It is a great honour for my school to be picked by Leighton Andrews.
‘‘I’m thrilled to be talking to him.
“Mrs Sarah Williams is the teacher who runs The Biz and she is inspiring us to be business people of the future.
“I’m on the school council and I’m also a keen businessman.”
Acting head teacher Helen Phillips said: “We aim to equip pupils with enterprise skills to help prepare young people for the challenges they will face in this rapidly changing world.’’
The National Numeracy Programme sets out the actions the Welsh Government and its partners intend to take to improve standards in Wales over the next five years.
It was developed after the last Programme for International Student Assessment tests three years ago showed Wales was below average for reading and maths and average for science among 15-year-olds out of 65 countries.
Swansea Council cabinet member for learning and skills, William Evans, said: “We are supporting schools to help them drive up numeracy standards.
“Ynystawe is one of a number of our primary schools developing innovative ways to show that maths is not something that should be feared, but can open doors to fun and other opportunities.”