Year 6 had a special code breaking Maths Week workshop with Dr Sara, the magical maths magician. The pupils were introduced to the concept of Josephus’ Problem. This is myth that involves an army being surrounded in a cave. Rather than surrender to their captives, the soldiers decided to kill one another in a set sequence. Josephus was clever and worked out where he needed to be in the sequence to be the final soldier with no one left to kill him.
The pupils had a fantastic time playing around with variations of this concept. We asked Year 6 to complete the Circle of Death involving different numbers of soldiers. The challenge was to find out whereabouts in the circle Josephus needed to be so that he was the last man standing.
Dr Sara explained the different stages involved in solving maths problems: Experiment, gather data, recognise patterns, understanding the patterns and then prove that the problem has been solved.