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NZ Kids Outsmart Their Aust Counterparts in Maths Comp


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 leading 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: “The idea behind the Matific Games was to introduce a fun and engaging way for primary school kids to enjoy and learn maths and we are absolutely delighted at the level of enthusiasm and participation we’ve seen from this first event.”

The Matific Games was based around participation by students and teachers using the Matific education resource. During the competition, students took part in over 7 million maths activities in just under two weeks. Winning schools, students and teachers will share a prize pool of over $50,000.

Michelle McCarty, Principal at Alfriston School commented: “We are 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! The feedback we have received to date is that the prize money is nothing short of fantastic, as is the way that all members of the school community pulled together to make this a success. Thank you to Matific for making this possible.”

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

Being a former primary school maths teacher, Brent Hughes said that this research was a fantastic step forward for children. “We’re seeing a real attitudinal change from Years K to 6 kids regarding their approach to learning maths; the fact that nearly 80% 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.”

With seven New Zealand schools finishing in the top ten, Brent went on to say: “We’re delighted at the level of achievement we’ve seen by kids in New Zealand and it’s great to see some Tran–Transman rivalry go the way of the Kiwis in this fantastic new maths competition.”

The top three winning schools are:
· Alfriston School, Alfriston, New Zealand
· Rosehill Intermediate, Papakura, New Zealand
· Bramfield Park Primary School, Maddington, Western Australia

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