10 October 2014
Thousands of schoolchildren will take a new look at maths this week and parents are being encouraged to help.
Maths Week Ireland, which runs events across Ireland from 11-19 October, aims to promote awareness, appreciation and understanding of mathematics to all in a fun and interactive way.
Speaking about Maths Week, Education Minister John O'Dowd said: "Maths Week Ireland is an excellent initiative which aims to foster more positive attitudes towards maths. It is about showing the importance and relevance of maths in a way that encourages, excites and motivates young people to do well in the subject. It is essential that our children and young people have a good grasp of numeracy and that they leave school with a good GCSE in maths if they are to reach their full potential in life. Parents and the extended family have a vital role in achieving this and I am delighted that Maths Week now includes the ˜Homework Club''
The Homework Club is a new feature of Maths Week and is taking place at the Ulster Museum on Wednesday 15 October. The club aims to inspire both parents and children, by finding ways to make maths homework fun.
Continuing, the Minister said: ''The percentage of young people achieving five good GCSEs including English and maths is continuing to rise and that is very encouraging. However, we should not be complacent. Maths is all around us in everyday life, from understanding measurements to dealing with money. It is therefore essential that we develop the skills of our young people to not only cope on a daily basis and to succeed in life and work.''
In conclusion the Minister highlighted the positive impact that parental involvement has on a child's educational outcome. He said: ''Research shows that children perform better at school when parents, and indeed the extended family, are involved. That is why I launched a new phase of the ˜Education Works'' advertising campaign. Whilst there is an obvious responsibility on schools, there is a clear correlation between parental involvement and better examination results and choices. The Maths Week Homework Club also encourages parents to get involved and provides fun ways of doing this. I congratulate the organisers on producing such an exciting list of activities for Maths Week. I have no doubt there is something for everyone.
In setting up the Homework Club the Maths Week Ireland team liaised with the Belfast Education and Library Board's Parent Support Programme. Parents are the primary and most important educator of their children and the homework club will demonstrate some fun activities they can replicate at home.