The Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) Matholympics Programme involved termly maths-based competitions across OAT academies where students were set a series of maths based challenges. The project was the first time a national, trust-wide enrichment programme for maths had been developed and established at OAT.
Winners of the challenges received Amazon vouchers and support for their academies maths department for enrichment experiences. Another part of the project was OAT celebrating National Numeracy Day on May 10th. As a part of this celebration 10 academies took part in the “Make your favourite number challenge” with 3 winners decided across primary and secondary academies.
Challenges and Lessons Learnt
The main challenge for this project was the COVID-19 pandemic. The original plan to deliver the final challenge in London was not possible, resulting in an underspend. However, instead of an in-person final, an online final was orchestrated that allowed 11 teams to compete in a safe and fun way.
The majority of outcomes and outputs initially set out for the project were met. The initial target of 5,000 students taking part in the project was not met as instead 1,000 submissions were received over the 3 termly challenges. The project also did offer all the academies the potential to set up maths-based teams, however not all academies took up the opportunity and only 34 teams were established.
The main lessons learnt in the development and delivery of the programme are that for success and support of the programme there needs to be a collaboration with OAT curriculum and enrichment teams, as well as lead practitioners in the maths department taking on a more involved role in project management. Another lesson learnt was to more effectively engage academies and maths heads of the department to complete the evaluation of the programme.
Student Feedback Quotes- suggested activities to support future engagement in maths:
- “I would like to hear about where you would use the maths that you are being taught and how it will help in everyday life.”
- “Use maths in a practical way.”
Staff Feedback Quotes- will be used by OAT Maths department to determine future challenges and competition content:
- “The Matholympics is a good start to help with Maths enrichment”.
- “I feel kind of disappointed by the final. As it didn’t feel like there was much maths – one round of quick-fire questions where our technology was quite slow. Don’t get me wrong the students enjoyed the event but I think were disadvantaged as they aren’t the kind of students that like to dress up or do presentations.”