South Tyneside school kids find maths as easy as Pi

Mortimer pupils, from left, Ebony Coats, Isla Taplin, Lee Robson, Ebony Barron and Amy McDonald.
Mortimer pupils, from left, Ebony Coats, Isla Taplin, Lee Robson, Ebony Barron and Amy McDonald.

Youngsters at a South Tyneside school have had their cake and eaten it – all thanks to pi.

The Mortimer Community College students took part in a range of activities to mark an international day celebrating the often-puzzling mathematical symbol and sum.

And it was pupil Ebony Coates, 12, who proved top of the class when it comes to the life of pi, known to most as 3.14 and written as π.

Ebony’s ability to recite it by memory to 60 decimal places saw her triumph.

Her impressive number crunching also got her munching – her prize being a slice of pie.

She was one of 100 pupils at the Reading Road school in South Shields, to take part in special maths activities to celebrate global Pi Day.

It is marked every March 14 – or 3/14 – in recognition on the worldwide impact of pi - the definition of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Maths faculty leader Ian Jackson and his team laid on several mathematics-based activities, with around 100 pupils taking part.

Puzzles included a pi treasure hunt where students answered clues based around circles to solve a problem, and pi catch phrases in which students applied numeracy and literacy skills.

There was also pi darts where students were required to hit the pi sequence on an interactive whiteboard in consecutive throws.

All those who won the categories were offered a piece of pie.

Mr Jackson said: “The number π is used in important formulae, in branches of statistics, mechanics and engineering.

“We take maths very seriously at Mortimer Community College, but it is nice to have a bit of fun from time to time.

“There’s no better way to engage pupils in the celebration of the use of Pi, than by being given the opportunity to win a slice of pie.”

Joanne Thornton, assistant headteacher for teaching and learning, added “The activities that ran throughout the day allowed students to investigate, use and apply pi.

“It was great to see students and staff having fun with and engaging in maths.”