This week, BISP’s Year 8 students attended lessons on angles and bearings, so it was a good opportunity to learn some practical mathematics outside of the classroom. Students, equipped with compasses, trundle wheels and school maps used their knowledge of bearings and map scales to navigate a course around the school field.

Being able to use compasses effectively put their maths knowledge into the context of real life and is an essential survival skill for any jungle trek! Seb, a Year 8 student who took part, commented, “It was very interesting to use bearings outside, it was a very entertaining exercise!”

Once students had completed the task, they went back into the classroom where they used Google Maps to locate airports around the world, identifying the three figure bearings written on each runway. Each runway has a 2 digit number printed on its approach, to which you can add a 0 to make the 3 figure bearing. For example, the runway at Phuket has 09 printed on the approach, which means the runway is at an angle of 090. This then helps pilots navigate accurately in case of bad weather or equipment failure. Overall this was a nice opportunity to apply the maths of the classroom to a variety of real life situations – and to combine traditional resources such as compasses and trundle wheels with more modern satellite data maps.