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First ever nationwide mass maths quiz joined by thousands of UK school children

19 May 2023

Thousands of school children across the UK joined the first ever nationwide number fun quiz to celebrate National Numeracy Day on Wednesday 17 May.

National Numeracy Day Live_National Numeracy Ambassadors Bobby Seagull and Katya Jones with West Ham mascot Hammerhead and Numberblock One and children from Rosetta Primary School, London. Credit National Numeracy_web

Star-studded number fun for National Numeracy Day

TV celebrities and Ambassadors for the charity National Numeracy, Bobby Seagull and  Strictly’s Katya Jones, hosted the National Numeracy Day Live event with the help of West Ham United Foundation and BBC CBeebies Numberblocks.

Broadcast via livestream from Rosetta Primary School in London, schools from all corners of the country joined the star-studded 30 minutes of number fun. Early estimates put the number of children involved at as many as 50,000.

The event was designed to get kids feeling positive and confident about maths. Katya created a special dance with Numberblock One and West Ham mascot Hammerhead to get kids moving around and warmed up.

And then iconic TV quizzer and maths teacher Bobby Seagull kicked off ‘Bobby’s Number Fun Quiz’ with questions about topics like animals and football designed to excite and engage the children and boost their number confidence. 

However, this was no normal maths quiz. For instance, if you want to find out how long the world’s shortest dog, Pearl the Chihuahua, is, head to the National Numeracy Day Live webpage for all the questions and answers!

Afterwards, coaches from West Ham United Foundation spent the day at the school delivering workshops to help boost the children’s numeracy, as part of its on-going work in the club’s local community.

Building numeracy confidence through activities children love

Bobby Seagull, Ambassador to both National Numeracy and West Ham United Foundation, said: “It was wonderful to host the Big Number Fun Quiz at National Numeracy Day Live. National Numeracy Day is all about helping the UK feel good about numbers. One of the best ways to help children feel more confident is by teaching them numbers though activities that they already love, such as dancing, football or fun quizzes.

“As an Ambassador of both National Numeracy and the West Ham United Foundation, I was thrilled to combine two of my greatest two passions, maths and football, to help children in my local community feel positive about numbers. I hope they had as much fun as I did!”

Katya Jones, National Numeracy Ambassador said: "I loved bringing some Strictly sparkle and dance energy to National Numeracy Day Live! I am really passionate about letting children know that numbers can be fun – they can be about the things you do in everyday life. 

“Linking dancing and maths helps children see they can learn new skills, and hopefully this event left all the children feeling energised, with the confidence to learn about numbers.”

Bryan Glover, West Ham United Foundation Director of Programmes, said: “We’re proud to be partnering with National Numeracy Day again to deliver this exciting event that bought numbers to life. Maths can often be something that people shy away from, but we all use numbers in our daily lives. 

“So, by working in collaboration and doing activities like this we hope to be able to spread the message that numbers can be fun and we want to empower people to be more confident in using numbers and improving their skills.”

Sam Sims, CEO of National Numeracy, said: “At National Numeracy we want the nation to feel confident about using numbers and maths in everyday life. We know it is important to start feeling good about numbers as early as possible in life. 

“What better way to show children how interesting numbers can be than with such a fun and engaging event. The amazing pupils at Rosetta Primary School practised the dance, believed in themselves and, most importantly, had fun using numbers and maths. This captures the very essence of National Numeracy Day."

In the UK, 49% of the UK’s working-age population has the expected numeracy levels of a primary school child, significantly below the average for developed countries. 

National Numeracy Day hopes to help change that. It’s website offers free and fun activities, events and resources for adults and children and a quick way to check and improve numeracy via the National Numeracy Challenge. 

Media contact:

Julia Day, National Numeracy, External Relations Director 
[email protected]   

Watch the event

Bobby Seagull and Katya Jones hosted 30-minutes of non-stop number fun with West Ham United Foundation and BBC CBeebies Numberblocks in celebration of National Numeracy Day!

You can still join in the fun! 

Download Bobby's Big Number Fun Quiz Sheet and answers, learn Katya's dance and watch the event any time on the event page

Watch the event

National Numeracy Day Live_National Numeracy Ambassador Katya Jones with West Ham mascot Hammerhead and Numberblock One at Rosetta Primary School, London. Credit National Numeracy_web

Try the National Numeracy Challenge

However you feel about maths, you’re not alone. The National Numeracy Challenge is a free and easy-to-use website you can use to improve your confidence with numbers, in your own time and at your own pace.

It’s ideal for brushing up, checking your level, or for catching up on learning you missed, and it’s all about the maths you need in daily life and at work – no algebra or trigonometry.

Image showing the Challenge on a computer monitor