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Well-Good Maths Challenge Raises Funds

Friday, 06 November 2015

Two maths teachers at Bolton School have set up Well-Good, a website which allows pupils to provide people in developing countries with safe water by answering maths questions. Mr Grant Heppleston and Mr Jon Hitchin wanted to help students to improve their maths skills while simultaneously aiding water charities, and so came up with the idea for the website.

Mr Hitchin said, “One of the biggest frustrations of teaching maths in any secondary school is that not all the students can instantly recall their times tables and there are certain topics they really struggle with, such as negative numbers. Bolton School does a fantastic amount of charity work and volunteering to support both our local community and worthwhile causes abroad so we had the idea of combining the two. By playing on Well-Good, students are both practising their maths and helping other people.

“We have been working on the project for around four months. When we first talked about the idea we were not sure we would be able to make it work, but we have now built a website and established the community interest company. We still have lots to do; we are hoping to develop the website further to include different types of questions and apply for grants to help us to publicise the website.”

Students in the Girls’ Division are now being encouraged to practise their times tables and work with negative numbers on the website to raise money for water charities. Each correct answer collects points, and 100 points provides one person with clean water for one day.

So far, Well-Good has four sponsors: Taylor and Taylor Financial Services, Barlow Andrews Chartered Accountants, Marlborough Fund Managers, and the School Parents’ Association. These sponsors place adverts on the site, and the money generated through pupils answering questions is then donated to water charities.

Year 8 pupil Eve Birtwhistle said, “We are really enjoying competing against each other to get the highest score as the website records all our results.”

Fellow pupil Rubie Dey agreed with her friend, saying, “I think it is a great idea, knowing that I am providing enough water for somebody for one day just by doing ten questions makes me want to keep doing more. I only need to do 3650 questions to provide enough water for somebody for a whole year, and I did 500 questions in under 15 minutes the other day!”

Freya Dando added, “It does not feel like I am doing schoolwork, it just feels like I am helping out people who desperately need it and it makes me feel well good! At the same time I am getting much better at my times tables.”

The website’s slogan is ‘Be Good, Do Good, Well-Good’ and pupils a certainly throwing themselves into the challenge. Year 9 pupils recently answered enough questions in one day to provide 800 people with clean water for a day!

However, the project is still looking to expand further. Any businesses interested in sponsoring or helping to publicise Well-Good should contact info@well-good.org. Teachers who would like to sign up their classes to get involved can do so on the Well-Good website.

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Mr Hitchin and Mr Heppleston with Eve, Freya and Rubie, who have been using the Well-Good website

Mr Hitchin and Mr Heppleston with Eve, Freya and Rubie, who have been using the Well-Good website