Puzzles are part and parcel of learning mathematics and have therefore been embedded in Cargilfield’s maths lessons for a long time; however, the recent changes to the Common Entrance syllabus have given them a renewed focus since two or three puzzles will now be included in every 13+ Common Entrance exam paper. Often interesting and different, when compared to the ‘standard’ maths, puzzles provide the opportunity to put one’s wits, skills and confidence to the test!
There is always a healthy tension between learning set methods and taking on never-before-seen puzzles. Taught methods can provide the puzzle solver with core skills, which may aid their efforts to work out their latest mathematical conundrum; however, for puzzles they are not familiar with, students need some creative agility to develop and experiment with unrehearsed methods. Sometimes the route to a solution is not obvious and determination is needed in order to keep at it until either the allocated time runs out or a satisfactory answer is found. Our aim is to develop the children’s thinking skills, whilst also building up an arsenal of tools and a bank of experience, which together will not only improve their success in solving puzzles, but will help our students become more confident and well-rounded mathematicians.
I will now leave you with a challenge of your own! See if you can solve these classic puzzles…..
Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.