The big six
Maths Year 2000 is launched this month to get everyone involved in the fun and excitement of maths. In supporting the National Numeracy Strategy, Maths Year 2000 offers a unique opportunity for schools to get involved in creating a positive "let's do - can do" culture towards maths.
Here are six ideas for getting involved.
* Visit the Maths Year 2000 website Let children loose visiting our website at www.maths year2000.org. It is packed with maths games, puzzles and challenges including a special section called Numberland where they will find number-crunching facts and figures, maths art and poems for all numbers 1 to 100, including some written by Michael Rosen, Jackie Kay, John Agard, Carol Ann Duffy and Grace Nicolls.
* Visit a museum or gallery, virtual or real All over the country museums, galleries and historic sites are creating resources, materials and trails that bring out the mathematical dimension to their collections and sites. The Maths Year 2000 website has a virtual maths museum with hundreds of historical artefacts and it will be added to throughout the year.
* Pick a Maths Year 2000 theme Maths Year 2000 has six themes running every two months, Maths on Time in January and February, followed by Maths takes Shape, Maths at Work, Maths in Play, Maths and People and Maths and Money. You could choose Maths in Play during the summer months and use it to theme your school sports day or run a competition or quiz for the European Football Championships or the Olympic Games.
* Visit a MathFest Maths Year 2000 is funding six major regional MathFests and supporting hundreds of associated satellite eents. The first is in Oxford next week and will include activities for all the family. Other MathFests are planned for the South- west in April, the North-East in May, the East Midlands in July, Yorkshire in October and London in January 2001. Details will be mailed to all schools but watch out for especially for the MathFest events at Manchester City Football Club in May and the at the British Museum's new Clore Education Centre in January 2001.
* Enter the Maths Year 2000 Maths and Art Competition In the next few weeks every school in the country will receive entry forms for the national Maths Year 2000 Maths and Art competition. It will have theme and age range categories and children can do the work at home or school. There will be prizes for individuals and schools plus the chance for winners to have their work turned in to a poster.
* Start a Maths Club Ask parent volunteers to run an after-school maths club where children can play Ladders, Ludo, Monopoly, Connect 4, Pick Up Sticks, Chess, the 24 Game or anything else that will get parents involved. The outlay would be less than pound;100 and you might get this and some volunteers from your local education business partnership - many have been awarded Maths Year 2000 local project money.
Alert parents to the booklet It All Adds Up available from post offices or freephone 0800 169 1234. You could use it with the new Numeracy Strategy video for a parents evening event. Tell us about your Maths Year 2000 events and projects. We can billboard them on the website or in our half termly newsletters. Look out for the launch edition in school soon.
Alan Newland is a primary headteacher seconded to Maths Year 2000