This is a new, and free, educational opportunity for LondonSMP pupils in Years 6 to 13. Our goal is to help children develop their skills in Maths, Science and in understanding their own abilities. In October we launched our new LondonSMP Monthly Maths Challenge where we set pupils in Years 6 to 13 four maths problems each month.
Our aim in setting these problems is to inspire pupils to write down their thoughts step by step from their first ideas through to their full answer, providing as much clarity as possible, so that another maths student or teacher can understand their thinking. Pupils do not have to answer all four problems if they are not able to. The most important part of this exercise is the effort pupils put into expressing themselves and the practice they gain in setting up and presenting a clear logical structure leading to their answer. This discipline should have a beneficial effect on their mental and personal development that extends far beyond Mathematics!
The LondonSMP Monthly Maths Challenge sets problems for four different groups:
We recognise that not every pupil will have the bandwidth to take up this opportunity in addition to attending their weekly maths problem solving class with us. However, if at all possible, we would recommend they try to write down the solution for at least one problem a month. If more can be attempted, so much the better. It’s worth mentioning that setting a regular Monthly Challenge for keen young maths students is an established practice in successful communities of mathematicians. The mathematics publications Kömal from Hungary and Kvant from Russia have long set monthly problems and the solving of them has been the training ground for many leading scientists and mathematicians.