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Maths & Problem Solving

A challenge to help you flex your growth mindset muscles!


A farmer has a total of 242 sheep and goats.

He sells a half of the goats and buys 28 more sheep.

He has 3 times more sheep than goats.

How many sheep did he start with?


Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to come and join in with their children's maths learning this week- the children really appreciated it. Over the week, around 80 friends, parents, grandparents and other relatives joined us in years 1 to 6. We received some fantastic comments- some of which you can see below:


Dear Children,

It was a pleasure to be able to come and join in with your maths this week. I really enjoyed seeing your ability to change the way the numbers were made up using different values to make the same answers. You were all so well behaved, and a credit to the school. I am looking forward to the next opportunity to come and join in.


We enjoyed the maths class today. It's great to see how amazing you are with the children, and how they all look up to you.
You're doing a great job.


Thank you for the opportunity of sitting in on my son's maths lesson. It was great to see method and content in action. There is no better lesson or basis of appreciation for a parent in terms of how to help and support than getting involved and seeing first hand your child's strengths and challenges. Thank you too for your tolerance as parents are undoubtedly a distraction.


It was so much fun and I was really impressed with your teaching techniques as it was fun all the way through and kept the children's attention.


Thank you for the opportunity to come in and do some maths this morning. I enjoy being able to come in and see how the children learn and spend time with my children individually.



Thank you to all the parents who attended the addition and subtraction workshop for parents. If you missed it but would like to know more, please contact Ms Redwood, who will be happy to talk you through the session and the methods taught in school.

Secret Number

Stage: 1 Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This is a game for two players and a simple calculator. 

Annie and Ben are playing. Annie puts her secret number into the calculator without showing Ben. 

Annie then asks Ben, "What do you want to add?"

Ben tells Annie the number he wants to add. "I want to add four."

Annie presses the 'add' button and then the four button. The calculator now shows '4'. Annie gives the calculator to Ben. 
calculator showing the number 4

Ben presses the 'equals' button and the calculator gives the answer '10'.
calculator showing the number 10

What was Annie's secret number? 
How do you know?
You could play this with a friend. If you work out your friend's secret number correctly, it is your turn to put in a secret number of your own. You could score a point for every one you get right. 

A multiplication version of the game might go like this:

Charlie puts in a secret number and asks Dana, "What do you want to multiply it by?" 

Dana replies, "Multiply it by 5." 

Charlie puts in 'times' and '5' and hands the calculator to Dana. 

When Dana presses the 'equals' button the calculator shows '35'. 
two calculators, one showing 5 and one showing 35

Dana now has to work out Charlie's secret number. What was it?
How do you know?

Try playing this version with your friend too!
Pass the peas please!

This is a game for two or more players.

Materials needed:

  • Plastic cup
  • Dried peas
  • Game board
  • Paper and pencil each for calculating and recording scores

Game board.

Each player begins by writing 50 on their score sheet.
Place two dried peas into a plastic cup.
Toss the peas onto the game board.
Add the two numbers the peas land on.
Take the sum away from 50 and record the remainder.
Next player takes a turn.
In the following turns, the players take the sum of the numbers away from the new remaining number.
The first player to reach zero wins.

Change the game by:
Using three peas instead of two.
Altering the starting number from 50 to 100.
Multiplying the numbers that the peas land on.
Making a different size game board with a different set of numbers.

Is a Square a Rectangle?

How many rectangles can you find in this shape? 

Shape with many rectangles!

How many of the rectangles are differently shaped?

Can you find any that are 'similar' - that is the same shape but a different size?


Part the Polygons


Using three straight lines divide this rectangle into four parts.
Each part must contain a triangle, a rectangle, a pentagon, a hexagon, a cylinder and an oval.


Target challenge!

You have two sets of the digits from 0 to 9.


Arrange FOUR of these digits in each  box to make a four-digit number as close to the target number as possible.  If you find that easy, try again but this time you can ONLY use each digit ONCE- cross them out as you go so you don't use a digit too many times!!


Have fun at home finding out about how many animals there were on the ark!

In KS2 we are practising our times tables every day. You can use this grid or use the 100Calc free app for IPADs

  • St Matthew's Church of England Primary and Nursery
  • 1 Peregrine Road,Derriford, Plymouth, PL6 5FN
  • Telephone number : 01752 395969
  • Mobile telephone number : 07308891852