Can you solve these festive maths puzzles for 10-year-olds?

Scotland’s education secretary tries to spark enthusiasm for the subject with a series of Christmas challenges

Henry Hepburn

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Solving maths problems is not the first item on many people's agendas as they wind down for Christmas.

But Scotland’s education secretary, John Swinney, is sending pupils home for the holidays with a series of festive puzzles in the hope of encouraging more positive attitudes towards the subject see them here.

The five puzzles are aimed at Primary 6 pupils (aged around 10) and their families to complete over the holidays as “a fun way of exploring maths outside the classroom”.

They include "Christmas sudoku" and a challenge involving decorating a snowman (see below).


snowman puzzle


Source: Scottish government


The Christmas Maths Challenge builds on the inaugural Maths Week Scotland event in September, designed by the Scottish government to “help everyone in our nation see maths positively”. Mr Swinney said that maths skills and confidence should be “celebrated across society”.

Earlier this year, Rachel Riley, best known for her role on Channel 4’s Countdown, warned that maths was suffering from an image problem that had to be challenged early.

“I think not losing [children] early is really important, and one of the ways that we can do that is to stop saying that we are crap at maths and having it as a badge of honour,” she said. “You wouldn’t say ‘I can’t read’ and have the same kind of flippant attitude towards it.”

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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