Winning statewide numbers for St Declan's Catholic Primary School Penshurst in Matific 2018

High achievers: Lachlan Quinn, Keon and Keisha Castillo, Tyler Quinn and Rohan Chandy. Picture: Kitty Beale
High achievers: Lachlan Quinn, Keon and Keisha Castillo, Tyler Quinn and Rohan Chandy. Picture: Kitty Beale

A knack for knowing the numbers game paid off for this group of pupils who topped NSW in a six-day mathematics challenge.

Kindergarten to year 6 pupils from St Declan’s Catholic Primary School Penshurst joined hundreds of schools in Australia and New Zealand to complete the Matific competition in August.

The school placed first in the state, second in Australia and had five students from mixed grades in the competition’s top 10.

The game format of the challenge saw students rewarded for accuracy with ‘monster’ avatars and points, and drew on their problem-solving and arithmetic skills.

Mathematics coordinator Zora Bunoza said the program was a valuable tool to promote mathematics and numeracy across the school.

“It encompassed our vision for learning which is to engage, create and collaborate,” she said. “The students had to know a lot of facts as well as be able to navigate problems.”

She said the mathematical game platform and competition was merely a tool to complement what was taught in the classroom. It covered the technology part of the NSW curriculum, while keeping children engaged in their learning.

“It does put things in a fun and engaging way for them so they just want to keep on learning,” she said. “It doesn’t replace the teacher by any means. We assign tasks that complement what is happening in the classroom for that week.”

The whole-school collaborative effort was also rewarded with eight class prizes and 11 pupil prizes. The school’s top performing students came from a range of grades.

Kindergarten student Rohan Chandy, 5, was the youngest to ace the questions.

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