The Mary Rose Museum have teamed up with EBP South to deliver a new and exciting Maths challenge to pupils across the area. The day is designed to enthuse young people in a subject sometimes seen as boring or difficult. ‘Feed the Fleet’ is a Tudor themed challenge for Year 4 pupils to stock the ship with food for a 5 day voyage for the Mary Rose crew of 470 men, 30 officers – not forgetting Hatch the ship’s dog!
“Lovely that it was linked with the Mary Rose and the children learnt something about an important part of Portsmouth’s heritage” Teacher
The challenge involves communication and listening skills, team working, literacy and important Maths skills. Crew member experts, including the Cook and Purser, in period costumes are ‘on hand’ to answer questions and give feedback. Young people work in teams of 6, with allocated team roles including team leader, buyer, record keeper and time keeper. Decisions and calculations have to be made as to how they could feed the crew with their limited budget of groats. 1545 was obviously another age of austerity!
Pupils visit the Tudor shop and can choose from salt beef or pork, biscuits, wine, beer and more. They use budgeting skills, make decisions on bulk buying or can even try bartering with the shopkeeper! Purchases are inspected and pupils must justify their decisions. The Purser and Cook are always keen to see if the children have spent their money wisely and if there was any left!
The second part of the activity is ‘the storage challenge’. Pupils have to pack their precious wares into the ships hold – represented by a sturdy plastic box, within 15 minutes. Everything must be easily accessible and if there are too many goods decisions made on what to leave behind!
What the teachers said:
“The children had a fabulous day. They had lots of opportunities to develop their numerical and teamwork skills. The activities were very hands-on and the children were extremely enthused and engaged”.
”We enjoyed the shopping! Children were adding, dividing, multiplying and calculating change without even realising it! Wonderful day”
Feedback from some of the children read:
“I liked it, just because we were learning, doesn’t mean we couldn’t have lots of fun!”
“It was fun, not too easy, not too hard – you could do it. It learnt us new ways of doing Maths that relates to real-life today not just in the olden days”
”It was all amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing!”
Mary Kinoulty, Head of Learning said: “We have been delighted with the success of the Year 4 maths challenge. The children thoroughly enjoyed Tudor shopping on a grand scale. They were having so much fun, many didn’t realise how much maths they were doing and how many important employability skills they were gaining. It was definitely maths by stealth!”
Over 100 students have taken part so far this year from schools in Portsmouth, Southampton, the Isle of Wight, Titchfield, Hayling Island, Havant and Fareham. Feedback has been excellent from teachers and pupils alike.
The next Challenge days are scheduled for 5 & 6 May 2016. If you would like further information or to book please contact Jacquie Jones at EBP South Ltd asap on 02392 283 443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org