Seven New Zealand schools finished in the top ten schools in a Trans-Tasman maths competition that included thousands of schools across New Zealand and Australia.

Students from a primary school in Alfriston, New Zealand, have beaten hundreds of thousands of other students across Australia and New Zealand to win first prize in the inaugural Matific Games, a maths competition run by online maths resource Matific.

Alfriston School, just outside Auckland, was one of thousands of primary schools who took part in the Trans-Tasman competition in August/September 2017, and won the top prize of $20,000.

Brent Hughes, former teacher and Teacher Educator at Matific said he was “absolutely delighted” at the level of enthusiasm and participation of this first event.

“The idea behind the Matific Games was to introduce a fun and engaging way for primary school kids to enjoy and learn maths,” he said.

The Matific Games was based around participation by students and teachers using the Matific education resource. During the competition, students took part in over seven million maths activities in just under two weeks. Winning schools, students and teachers will share a prize pool of over $50,000.

Principal at Alfriston School Michelle McCarty said she was “super proud” of the way the whole school has engaged in the Matific competition and are delighted to have won first prize.

“At Alfriston School, students having ownership of their learning is important to us and the competition provided a forum for students to put forward their ideas for how the school could be successful. Those ideas were acted on with each student agreeing to set a personal goal of 50 stars each; with many far exceeding that goal.

“Students loved the interactive challenges across all strands of the Mathematics curriculum and their progress and achievement has clearly been significant, including their individual and collective attitudes and approaches to learning the subject. We even had students wanting to stay at school past the end of the school day to ensure we could put points on the board!”

In a survey undertaken with schools using the Matific resource, 87 per cent of kids said Matific helped them learn maths, 90 per cent said they want to keep playing Matific after the games and 79 per cent said that they would like or love Matific to be their homework.

Brent Hughes, a former primary school maths teacher, said he’s seeing a real attitudinal change from Year 0 to 6 kids regarding their approach to learning maths.

“The fact that nearly 80 per cent told us they wanted maths as their homework just shows how much we are helping to change children’s attitudes towards maths in a positive way.

“We’re delighted at the level of achievement we’ve seen by kids in New Zealand and it’s great to see some Trans–Tasman rivalry go the way of the Kiwis in this fantastic new maths competition.”

Seven New Zealand schools finished in the top 10. The top three winning schools are Alfriston School, Alfriston, New Zealand, Rosehill Intermediate, Papakura, New Zealand and Bramfield Park Primary School, Maddington, Western Australia.


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