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Maths @St Nicholas

Visit from the Bird Man! 

The whole school had a very exciting visit from the Bird Man this afternoon who came to visit us with his owls, falcons and eagle! We learned all about their habitats and lifestyle and even got to hold the birds. We asked the bird man how he used maths in his job and at first he said he didn't! We soon prompted him and found out that he actually uses it every day! 

The birds need a very specific amount of food to keep their body weight the same or they become reluctant to fly. The bird man has to weigh the birds and their food carefully every day. He also has to measure the speed and distance that they fly and the angles used to determine the best hunting practice for diving for prey. 

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How did the Vikings use Maths? 

Year 5 and 6 had an exciting Viking Visit this week where we learned all about their life and society. Of course we had to ask about how Vikings used Maths! This is what we discovered. 

The vikings used maths to further society through astronomy, geometry, ship building, and commerce. Geometry is still used to this day even though we are centuries apart.

Vikings had measuring words for length/ distance, area, weight,money, clothing measurements, and also had rates of exchange. For the measurement of length and distance. 'Vika' was equivalent to a sea-mile, answering to the land measurements of a 'rost'. 

Vikings were not known for their advanced mathematical knowledge but they had a sophisticated grasp on geometry. 

The men would also use maths in the form of rates and exchange to use for trading and selling goods. Women would use maths when making clothing and goods.

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Visit from a local Engineer 

We got straight back into the Real-Life Maths in 2020 by having a visit from a local engineer and construction company. They are working close to our school and came to talk to us about their role. The children were really enthusiastic and asked lots of great questions. The engineer told us that it was his love of MATHS that led him to his career choice and that he uses lots of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division every day as part of his job. He also has to use measure, geometry and problem solving skills. 

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Christmas in Numbers


Christmas Trees 


  • In Europe, nearly 16 million Christmas trees are grown each year
  • Christmas trees grow for an average of 10 to 15 years before being harvested and sold
  • The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510
  • Electric Christmas tree lights were invented by Edward Johnson in 1882
  • The world’s tallest Christmas tree was 221ft, and found in a Washington shopping mall
  • 8 million real Christmas trees are consumed in the UK each year


Christmas Dinner and Treats 


  • The average family spends £170 on their Christmas dinner
  • 370 million mince pies are sold in the UK over the festive period each year
  • Around 10 million turkeys are cooked in the UK each Christmas
  • In terms of weight, 120,000 tonnes of potatoes are typically eaten over Christmas
  • We also consume 5 million jars of cranberry sauce in the UK
  • …and believe it or not, 9875 tonnes of sprouts are eaten in December each year
  • The largest Christmas cracker was 207ft long and 4m in diameter


The Christmas Presents 


  • 40% of shoppers start their Christmas shopping before Halloween
  • …a further 48% of shoppers say they’ve finished their Christmas shopping before Black Friday
  • In the UK, 83 square feet of wrapping paper is sold over the festive period
  • The average British child receives 16 Christmas presents each year
  • Typically, £700 million is spent on unwanted Christmas gifts
  • A total of 364 gifts are featured in the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’
  • Christmas cards were first commissioned by London civil servant, Henry Cole, in 1843
  • Last year, online sales rose by 9% during the Christmas period

Learning about TAX from HMRC 


Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 had a fantastic, thought-provoking time learning about Tax from HMRC yesterday. They learned all about which parts of a city were funded through taxation and which were a business. Then they were given the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer and had to decide how to spend public money. There were some heated debates about whether we should prioritise Health, Education, Police, Armed Forces, Protecting the Countryside or Museums.

We discussed who pays taxes and how much they pay, then we discussed how much tax they thought workers should pay from their wages. It was a really interesting day and the children learned a lot.  

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How have you used maths this week at home? 

At St Nicholas we always love to hear about how you use maths in every day life. Please share your photos with us on twitter and use the hashtag #stnicslovesmaths There will be Big Friday Draw Tickets for everyone who tweets! 

We Need You! 


Which websites or apps do you use for fun maths games? Are there any sites that you use to help you with your homework? If so, please let Miss Walton know and she will add the links to the Kids Zone for everyone to play and use!  

Fibonacci Day - 23rd November  


November 23 is celebrated as Fibonacci day because when the date is written in the mm/dd format (11/23), the digits in the date form a Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3. A Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where a number is the sum of the two numbers before it. 


Have you ever received a gift for a holiday or your birthday? It was probably wrapped in nice paper and maybe a bow. But if you uncovered it, there was a surprise inside. Well, in much the same way, the Fibonacci sequence surprised people.

Fibonacci was an Italian man who studied math and theories back in the 11th century. He discovered a pattern called the Fibonacci sequence. It's a series of numbers that starts with 0 and 1, and each number after is found by adding the two previous numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 34, 55...) The sequence just keeps going on and on.

As Fibonacci was busy studying his sequence, other mathematicians uncovered something very special about it--the numbers of the Fibonacci sequence appear everywhere in nature! Let's look at some places in nature that we can find the Fibonacci numbers.

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Remembrance Day 2019 

This year we commemorated this day for the 101st time. The whole school learned about why it is important in special lessons and assemblies and we all gathered together for the two minutes silence at 11am on 11.11.19. Year 5 and 6 visited the war memorial which commemorates Captain Noel Chavasse, the only man to be twice awarded the military’s highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross, in the First World War. 


Remembrance Day in Numbers 


  • The Armistice of 1918 was signed at 5am on the 11th November in France. 6 hours later, at 11am, the guns officially stopped firing in Europe and WW1 was over. 
  • An official ceasefire, known as the Christmas truce, took place in 1914. It was only 5 months (of 51) into WW1. 
  • 888, 246 ceramic poppies were made to commemorate the 100th year since the outbreak of WW1. Each poppy represented one British or Commonwealth serviceman killed in the War. 
  • Almost 18,000 charities for the British war effort were set up during the war. Many civilians raised money by collecting food and selling home comforts such as chocolate and books. 
  • Around 1,200,000 horse and mules were used by British forces in WW1, and approximately 716, 000 survived. Other animals used in the war included dogs, pigeons, glow worms and even dolphins and sea lions. 
  • In 2018, over 40 million poppies were distributed by 40,000 volunteers. 
  • There are 20 WW1 cenotaphs in the UK and 2500 WW1 memorials. 
  • 1,500,000 British people were evacuated from major cities during WW1


Want to find out more Number Facts about World War 1? Watch the short video clip below. 

World War One In Numbers

World War One In Numbers How many people died in World War One? What was the life expectancy of a pilot? How much did the war cost the world? Find out here!

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STEM fun at Liverpool John Moores University 


Year 3 and Year 5 were lucky enough to attend a STEM morning last week. We looked at the speed of sound vs the speed of light and did lots of calculating and measuring when using a 3D scanner and printer! 


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Football and Maths 


We were recently fortunate enough to have the Liverpool FC Under 18s Team come to visit our school! Obviously we were star-struck and wanted to hear all about their experiences as a football player! And besides, football players don't need to use maths? Don't they? Read below to find out! 


  • Researchers at Brunel University have shown that the angle which will maximise the distance of a throw in is around 30 degrees. What do you think the angle is for a perfect free kick? 
  • The University of Amsterdam found that statistically, goalkeepers are twice as likely to dive to the right when their team is behind. Penalty takers - on the other hand - were shown to shoot to the left or right in equal measure. If you were a football team manager, this type of statistic might just help you! 
  • Geometry is important when refereeing. The ref runs in a diagonal movement, opposite to that of the assistant referees to ensure that all parts of the pitch are covered. 
  • The smoothness of a football affects the spin and the speed. The design of the footballs you see being used during every match are adapted constantly based on mathematics research. 
  • Managing a football team is big business! You can only pick your dream team by carefully balancing a multi-million pound budget. Managers need a good financial head on their shoulders.  



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Skiing with Maths


Last week some of us went to Pendle Ski club to prepare for our ski trip next year. Who knew that skiing required so much knowledge of Maths?! Here are some fun facts! 


  • Staying on your edges and having the right angle while turning can help you to go very fast when skiing. Beginners go across the slope, and when turning they put their skis at a very low angle into the snow, causing them to go very slow. 
  • The angles of the mountains determine how experienced you need to be to use them. 'Green' slopes aren't too steep and are great for beginners. 'Black' slopes can be very steep and are not for the faint-hearted! 
  • Ski trail difficulty is measured by % slope, not degree angle. A 100% (black) slope is a 45 degree angle. A green slope could be between 6% and 25%. 
  • It is important to measure your height and weight in skiing as it determines the length of your skis and the bindings that connect your boots to your skis. 
Picture 1 Measuring height and weight is essential
Picture 2 We need the correct sized equipment
Picture 3 Parallel lines
Picture 4 We made different angles with our skis
Picture 5 Change the angle of your body to change your speed
Picture 6 Angles everywhere
Picture 7 Distribute your body weight carefully
Picture 8 Take care with your speed
Picture 9 Balance carefully

Bonfire Night and Numbers! 


  • Fireworks can reach up to 150mph when they're set off.
  • The biggest firework explosion at least was created in Konosu in Japan in 2014 - it broke the record for using the world's heaviest firework weighing in at 460kg.
  • If you're wondering how big that is, it's the same weight as a fully grown polar bear!
  • The firework created a rosette of light, 800 metres across.
  • The most fireworks ever used at once was at a display in Norway where they used 540,382 fireworks.
  • It lasted for one and a half hours. If you think that's a lot, 5,272 didn't count as they didn't light, so it could have been even more.
  • If the 2,500kg of gunpowder had actually gone off underneath parliament it would have caused damage within a radius of almost 500 metres.
  • Sparklers are often spotted at events, but we're often warned to be careful with them and for good reason.

    Sparklers are very hot, they can reach up to 1000-1600 Celsius, that's 15 x hotter than boiling water.

  • The reason why you hear a bang after a firework explodes is because light travels faster than sound.

    Sound travels at 767mph, but light travels at 671,000,000mph - that's quite a difference!

FIREWORKS FAIL: Oban display goes up in 30 seconds

A 'technical glitch' causes a whole 30 minute display to go off in 30 seconds in Oban, Scotland.

St Nics in Numbers

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