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The Hazlegrove Maths Department ‘drifted off course' in the world of maps and cartography

Published Thursday 23rd of November 2017 10:33:53 AM

For Hazlegrove’s special autumn term ‘Thinking Outside the Box’ week in the maths department, the children took a small detour off the prescribed syllabus as they explored the enchanting world of maps and cartography and all the amazing maths that underpins the process of map making. This is an extremely large topic packed with a vast array of fascinating mathematical avenues to reconnoitre. Throughout the course of the week, Years 3 to 7 were learning all about different units of measurements, scale conversions, how to take and follow bearings, how to plot co-ordinates and then how to combine all of these skills to either draw a detailed map or find hidden treasure. Year 3 entered into the spirit of the week, becoming pirates and writing their own directions to treasure using compass points and a real pirate seal. Armed with trundle wheels and measuring sticks, Year 4 took measurements of the sports pitches so they could make 3-dimensional models of them. The challenge for Year 5 was to create a scale drawing of the Fitzjames courtyard, including the buildings - it was a tricky task but they impressed with their focus and measuring skills. They then discovered how difficult it is to scale everything down to fit it all on an A4 piece of paper. Some fantastic plans emerged and definitely revealed some budding architects in the making. Scale drawings were also a theme for Year 7 whilst Year 6 explored a map of the local area. Learning about scale, they worked out the shortest routes between various points, including measuring winding roads with blue tack and string, and calculated how far they could travel on foot from Bruton in three hours. All-in-all it was really thrilling week where the children were able to be out and about testing and expanding the mathematical skills they have been taught. “In this age of satellite navigation it is so important that we don’t lose the respect, fascination and wonder that maps deserve” says Jonathan Shaw, Head of Maths at Hazlegrove.
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