Wednesday 16th December 2009 by C. Freeman
Year 8 students at Brooke Weston are pitting their wits against others from all over the world in a series of maths challenges. The Mathletics scheme has proved so popular that one class was ranked top in the UK ratings, while Kiran Joshi managed to gain the top score worldwide.
Mathletics is an on-line resource which sets maths challenges for students ranging from reception to AS Level. They are assigned live games where they compete against others who are online anywhere in the world. They can choose which level to work at and earn credits which are spent on personalising their avatar in the game.
Maths teacher Miss Sarah Rusher said: 'Year 8 have been trialling Mathletics and it's something that they have really enjoyed. It focuses on the core skills; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and the students can choose at which of five levels they work at. It's similar to brain training games and because it has both the speed and competition elements it's quite exciting. The class ratings change every week but at one point the Year 8 class were the best class in the country. They had to be very dedicated to get to the top, with students using it every lesson and after school as they needed to accumulate thousands of points in total.'
Hayden Tetley and Kiran Joshi are both keen Mathletes, jostling each other in the high scores stakes. Hayden said: 'It's really good. Level five is hard maths, division and pattern rules. Sometimes I do level five but normally I start at level one because it's fun.'
Kiran said: 'It gives you a chance to test your maths skills against other people. It finds a game for you among everybody that's logged on at the same moment. We got best live player where you had to answer as many sums as possible within one minute and mine and Hayden's scores are around 80 sums per minute for addition to ten. On the first week that we used Mathletics I was just aiming to get into the top 50 but then I was so high up I thought I might as well get to number one in the world rankings. I had to play for about one and a half hours a day, not all at once, I just went on it when I could and had my name at the top for a day as the individual rankings change daily.'
Regional Mathletics Manager Lisa Peacock conducted training on the program for teachers from all the Corby secondary schools and the scheme is now set to roll out across the town. She said: 'Northamptonshire schools seem to network well and often sign up as clusters. One of the strengths of Mathletics is that we provide individualised learning. Students can personalise their avatars and it raises their knowledge of geography as well. Because it's web-based we're always updating it; it never stays static and we're making it as user-friendly as possible.'