Happy Puzzle Day 2018

Posted on: 11/05/2018

On Wednesday 18th April, the Maths department at GTS had something very different in store for all of Year 8.  All students took part in a 100 minute workshop with the Happy Puzzle Company.  They encountered a variety of challenges, most of which could be solved within a few minutes, but which required collaborative learning skills with careful strategic planning in order to find a solution.  If the temptation to give up appears, the programme teaches students how to persevere, put their own skills to better use as part of a team and overcome difficulties by approaching problems from a different perspective.

The challenges were highly engaging, ranging from the “Penguin Challenge”, to the network of pipes that had to be connected, to elaborate jigsaw puzzles where the images to be made were not revealed beforehand.  All of the puzzles are designed for the students to employ and practise:


- Thinking skills

- Logical reasoning skills

- Team skills

- Communication skills

- Ability to overcome difficulties with school work


All this was wrapped up in an immensely enjoyable way of working – time flew by and despite working incredibly hard there was a lot of fun had and laughter about.  Students’ comments that sum up the deeper aims of the day included statements like:


"Never give up!"


"Nothing needs to be impossible!"


"You can achieve a huge amount by working as a team."


At the end, the presenter revealed to the students that some of the challenges were hard, some were easy, but none ever were “impossible”.

That is exactly what happens in school: none of the challenges we present our students with are ever impossible.

A day like this should, above all, help to improve the students’ self-confidence so they can begin to raise their own expectations of what they can achieve.


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