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Mucky Maths helps schoolchildren travel back in time

mucky mathsCHILDREN from Prendergast School are the first in Pembrokeshire to use Mucky Maths to learn about life in the Iron Age in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The 60 pupils visited Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort recently to try out the new education session offered by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Mucky Maths uses the power of numbers to teach children about life in the Iron Age 2,000 years ago.

The youngsters took measurements of the site and looked for shapes in the landscape. They also calculated how long simple everyday tasks might have taken their Celtic ancestors and compared this with their lives today.

National Park Discovery Ranger Gayle Lister explained:

“The children had already visited Castell Henllys for a historical session, travelling back through time to meet people who once lived in the Iron Age Fort.

“This innovative new session challenges the children to use and apply their mathematical knowledge and skills to make sense of history. It is a very powerful tool and helps the children to find some concrete way to measure the past.”

“It was an absolutely fantastic day,” said class teacher Emma Jenkins, adding: “The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Castell Henllys site manager Rhonwen Owen is delighted that Mucky Maths offers a new perspective on this ancient site.

“Schools are familiar with our award-winning historical programme, but this new session enables students to learn about the past in a different way. It is the cross-curricular aspect of this session that is appealing.”

But perhaps the best measure of success is to talk to the children. “You said we were going to do maths all day”, said one young learner, “but all we have done is have fun.”

The Park Authority’s Discovery Rangers designed Mucky Maths to work in locations throughout the National Park, from castles and hill forts to woodland and beaches. The session helps children to put their mathematical skills into a real life context and to use data to form and justify opinions.

The session, along with its sister session, Words in Wellies, with a focus on literacy, is available now for schools to book via the Park Authority’s Discovery Team on 01646 624856.