Dopey adds to maths fun

22nd June 2007 at 01:00
FUN IS the watchword for the Scottish Maths Challenge, which offers problem-solving activities that are enjoyable and testing. It is also popular with all those - over 3,000 secondary and 2,000 primary pupils - taking part this year.

"People often think children who are good at maths are a bit odd, specky types who don't like sport," said Lynne McClure, editor of Primary Mathematics journal and organiser of the Edinburgh and Lothians primary regional challenge. "But they're just ordinary kids who get a great buzz out of doing it.

"Maths should be celebrated and it should be seen as cool among all pupils."

Problem-solving questions are sent out to some 500 participating schools during the year and culminate in summer term prize days in each of the five regions.

Ms McClure said: "It is in line with A Curriculum for Excellence and the quality indicators, which include emphasis on the learners' experience, expectations and promoting achievement, as well as the embedding of problem solving in the mathematics curriculum."

An example from the primary division questions is: "When the seven dwarfs waved goodbye to Snow White, they walked home in single file. Happy was as many places in front of Sleepy as Dopey was behind Doc. Sleepy and Grumpy were in even numbered places and Dopey was in an odd numbered place. Sneezy was behind Dopey and Doc was behind Sleepy, but there is no information about Bashful's place. In what order did the dwarfs walk home? Explain your reasoning."

The Scottish Maths Challenge has been run by the Scottish Mathematical Council since 1976.


Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today