At the New Beacon we aim to teach mathematics as a life skill and sometimes just to enjoy manipulating and working with numbers. Through this understanding, we can teach the boys the satisfaction of reaching solutions and conclusions numerically and algebraically and seeing the beauty of mathematics as a language in its purest and simplest form.
Mathematics is taught as a language as well as a science, hopefully leading to boys understanding the universal appeal of the subject. This also improves problem solving skills and the ability to translate mathematical problems written in words into more accessible numerical sums.
We also enter a variety of problem solving and puzzle competitions where boys can work individually or as part of a team.
The Primary Maths Challenge is a nationally set paper taken by thousands of Year 6 pupils across the country. At The New Beacon it is taken by the whole of years 5 and 6, which gives all boys an opportunity to use their problem solving skills, and also allows scope for work and discussion in pairs when preparing for the paper and extension work for the gifted and talented programme.
The Junior Maths Challenge is a nationally targeted paper, set by the Mathematical Association, and is aimed at Year 8 pupils. At The New Beacon, it is taken by the whole of Year 7 and Year 8 and the streamed Year 6 class. Several of our number regularly qualify for round 2 and we often win National medals.
Every year, a team of 4 boys from each of Year 5 and Year 6 compete against other local schools in a relay style maths challenge. This gives the opportunity for the most able to use their skills publically in a fun environment.
We consider ourselves to be an active department with a modern outlook and traditional values. This is reflected in our excellent results at Common Entrance and Scholarship and in the various challenges we undertake.