Scottish Maths Challenge Success!

Every year Mrs Clark’s class take part in the Scottish Maths Challenge, a competition where you have to complete tricky maths problems that require you to think outside the box.  It is a great way to improve your maths problem solving skills and learn to apply strategies to help you work out the answers.  Children can opt to take part in the challenges, and there are three sets of questions over the year. One of the questions this year was:

Colin and Tom are on a camping holiday and, at their campsite, they make friends with Fiona. They ask her when her birthday is but, being a bit of a joker, Fiona tells them only that it is one of the following;

May 14, July 12, May 15, May 18, June 16, June 19, July 15, August 12, August 14, August 16.

She then tells Colin the month of her birthday, but not the day in the month, whilst she tells Tom the day in the month, but not the month.

Immediately, Colin Declares “Well Tom certainly cannot know for sure when Fiona’s birthday is.”
to which Tom replies “Ah, but now I do.” “And now I know when it is as well,” comes back Colin.

When is Fiona’s birthday? Explain your reasoning.

Quite tricky!

The children who took part have been very successful and should be proud of their perseverance and skills.  Ellie and Matthew have achieved a bronze medal and Eva, Ruaraidh, Rowan, Rebecca and Kaitlyn achieved a silver medal in the competition.  Kaitlyn and Rebecca missed out on the gold by one point!  Well done everyone.

Forth Road Bridge

forth road bridgeToday Ellie, Kaitlyn and Sarah found out about the Forth Road Bridge because their class are going to Stirling for an annual school trip and will be visiting the bridge. They will be visiting Bannockburn, The Forth Road Bridge, Stirling castle and Stirling university.

There are three bridges; The Forth Road Bridge is a suspension bridge, The Forth Bridge is cantilever and the new bridge, the Queensferry Crossing, is the longest cable stayed bridge in the world.  We found out that over 70,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day and over 24 million vehicles cross the bridge every year. It took around 6 years to build and seven people died building it. On the 5th December 2015 a small 2cm crack was found and the bridge had to be rebuilt. The bridge is 51 years old. It is owned and operated by Network Rail. It was the 4th longest bridge in the world when built. It cost about £19.5 million to build. It is Britian’s first all steel bridge and it used nearly 40,000 tonnes of steel and 125,000 cubic metres of concrete to build. The designers were Benjamin Baker and John Fowler. There is the new bridge that is being built which we will get to see. We will be visiting it next week, hope we have a great time. By Kaitlyn, Sarah and Ellie

The Scottish Mathematical Challenge

P1020045This year pupils at Port Ellen primary school took part in the Scottish Mathematical Challenge where they had to answer problem solving questions 3 times over the year showing their working out. To get a bronze award you couldn’t lose more than 10 points, to get a silver award you couldn’t lose more than 6 points and to get a gold award you couldn’t lose more than 3 points. Rebecca, Katie, Ross and Matthew got a bronze award and I got a silver award missing out on a gold award by only one point! I feel happy because I got a silver I am also very surprised because I didn’t think my problem solving was that good. One of the questions was “Maureen, Alice and Siobhan are three young sisters, in that order of age. Alice is two years older than Siobhan. Each year, their wealthy aunt gives each of them, for each year of her age, as many pounds as she is years old. For example, on her first birthday a girl would receive one pound and on her third birthday nine pounds. The aunt has promised to continue this family custom with each girl until her twelth birthday. This year Maureen received as much as Alice and Siobhan put together.
How much will Siobhan receive next year?” I found this quite tricky.  There was also a question about a diagram that represents a rectangular net, which is made from string notted together at different points. Another one was about a diving competition where there are 5 judges that each awards a whole-number from 1-10 and you had to work out all the possible scores awarded.  It was really challenging but helped me get better at my maths problem solving.  There is an award ceremony in June in Glasgow.  Next year I will try to get a gold.

Negative Numbers

P567 have been learning about negative numbers and how they are in temperature. The lowest temperature that negative numbers go down to is -274 degrees and positive numbers go up to infinity. We also learned that negative numbers can some times be in lifts like if there is a basement or a cellar in a hotel or a museum.It also appears in world temperature like the weather might say Paris is -1 degrees and Romania is 16 degrees and all the other countries might be different than Paris or Romania. This is what we have learned.

Compass Points

P1010222We have been learning about compass points because it helps us with our orienteering because you need to know your compass points to get to the markers. All the compass points are north represented by an N then there is north-east represented by an NE after that there is east represented by an E then there is south east represented by a SE then there is then there south represented by an S and that is half the circle. Then on the other half of the circle, there is south west represented by SW then there is west represented W then there is north-west is represented by NW then is north again. There is a degree for each compass point which helps you to know if you’re facing the right way. When you change the degrees  to north to east or to east to south you add 45 degrees on because each turn you do you add 45 degrees. North is either 360 or 0 and north-east is 45 degrees. East is 90 because 45 add 45 is 90 degrees. South east is 125 degrees. South is 180 degrees. South west is 225. West is 270 degrees and north west is 315. Then back to north which is 0 degrees.

Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

In class, p7 have been learning to convert fractions, decimals and percentages, we have been focusing mainly on fractions and decimals.         Fun Fact: If in a decimal, a number is repeated lots of times, like 1/3 is 0.33333333 etc. you would write 0.3 with a º above the 3.

We have learned lots more, like :

1/4 is 0.25 so 2/4 would be 0.5 you would keep doubling until you got to 4/4 which is 1.00

1/2 is 0.5 which is equivalent to 2/4

1/5 is 0.2 so 2/5 would be 0.4                     .

1/6  would be 0.166

1/10 would be 0.1 because there is 10 10ths in 1

We have also been learning to convert percentages to decimals for example:

20% as a decimal is 0.2 as a fraction is 1/4

25% as a decimal is 0.25 as a fraction is 1/5

50% as a decimal is 0.5 as a fraction is 1/2

75% as a decimal is 0.75 as a fraction is 3/4

80% as a decimal is 0.8 as a fraction is 4/5

100% as a decimal is 1.0 as a fraction is 1/1

These are just some of the vast array of fractions, decimals and percentages in the known world. Hope you found this intreaging and interesting. hopefully you have learned something new.

By Anwen and Izzy 🙂



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