PEMC 2019 – What a way to start the term!

The first day back after the holidays and we started in style!

Teams of 3 pupils (predominately P6 and P7) from schools all over Highland congregated at Dingwall Academy to take part in this year’s Primary Enterprising Maths Challenge for a fun filled day of maths and problem solving.

The day was split into 5 parts and kicked off with The Poster Challenge.

The Poster Challenge

The theme this year was Problem Solving and Problem Posing.  Pupils had to do some prior background research and preparation for this.  They had to select three of their favourite problems from a given selection, present them in poster form outlining how they solved them and the maths involved including exploring whether there were connections between the problems; whether they had more than one answer and how different people approach the same problem.  They then had to get creative and come up with their own problem.

Here are a selection of photos from the challenge.

The Round Table Challenge

Pupils had to work together in their teams to solve a variety of problems.  Each problem was given a time limit of 4 minutes before rotating onto the next problem.  There was a huge variety of problems including operational, spatial and logical to name just a few.

For some of the tricker problems, the problems were left out for pupils to go back to in their free time later to see if they could solve what had previously been unsolvable!



Team Challenge

Again pupils worked collaboratively in their teams to try to solve as many problems as they could from a wide ranging selection.

Head to Head Challenge: Strategy Game

Pupils had been given this game, ‘Shady Shapes’ in advance to explore it and hone their strategies to try and see if there were ways that they could develop tactics in order to help them with the task.  Teams were paired up against another school in a strategy Head to Head.

Relay Challenge

The final challenge of the day which again included a wide range of problem solving activities was the relay challenge.  Pupils worked in their teams to solve a problem, when they thought they had solved it, they could run to a designated adult to get it checked.  If correct, they could take their next question.  If incorrect, they could continue working on the problem or attempt the next one.  This was a really fun one to end the day with and all the children got really stuck in.

The Results

The day is primarily aimed at enjoyment and exploration of a wide range of maths tasks many of which were open ended problems that really got you thinking.  All pupils received a certificate of participation.  There was however an additional competitive element between the schools.  The categories and winners of each have been outlined below:

The Poster Challenge

Balloch Primary School

Small Schools Category

Inver Primary School


Medium Schools Category

Beauly Primary School


Large Schools Category

Dornoch Primary School


Overall Winners

Beauly Primary School



Thanks to all the adults, staff and pupils who came along to attend, Dingwall Academy for hosting, Lesley Taylor (QIO) and Donald Patterson (QIO) for support with organisation and judging, Helen Martin (University of Aberdeen) and Craig Lowther (UHI) for supporting with primary organisation and running the day so smoothly.

We hope to see even more schools get involved next year!





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