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Hopping to success at the Kangaroo maths comp

On Thursday 16 March, children from across many DIPS schools took part in the Kangaroo Competition, an international mathematics competition that takes place annually in over 77 countries across the world.

By Ingrid Schmoutziguer and Manon Blaxland, DIS Communication Leads

In the Netherlands, approximately 140,000 students participate in the Kangaroo Competition from across 2,350 schools. At International School Hilversum, all the Grade 6, 7 and 8’s participated, so more than 260 students all together. Optimist International School (OIS), who joined the competition last year for the first time, had 32 eager students participating this year.

‘At International School Utrecht both primary and secondary students took part in the Kangaroo contest’, says Mathematics teacher Jessica Brussaard. ‘A parent volunteer ran the Kangaroo contest in the primary. As a school we officially run the competition for students in grades 6-10. This year we had 129 students joining!’

Brussaard finds it important that her students join Kangaroo: ‘I am thrilled that students are exposed to the logic-based questions on this test which help develop critical and creative thinking skills. Whether students prepare extensively ahead of time (using past papers on the Kangaroo website) or simply show up to take the test – the Kangaroo organisation does an amazing job of creating a quality competition year after year.’

The competition helps to sharpen the skills and abilities of students, or as Angelique Podstavnychy, Mathematics Specialist at OIS nicely put it: ‘The questions bring surprising challenges which require a spark of creativity and a flash of insight’.

What did the students think?

‘I have attended the kangaroo test 3 times and it is very fun!’ – Kashif, grade 6

‘I have chosen to participate in the kangaroo math exam because kangaroo is a fun exam that can also teach me a few things in the process. So far this is going to be my third time participating in the kangaroo and in the last two exams I have second place in my grade so far I have been doing good. I would say even if you don’t like mathematics Kangaroo will make you feel the exact opposite, so go for it.’ – Darshan (grade 6)

‘The questions were challenging and different from the questions we normally do in class. I enjoyed the challenge!”  – Ilya (Grade 5)

‘I liked this competition, the question about the car was my favourite!” – Suzell (Grade 1)

‘This competition made me feel smart, which I liked!’ – Yousef (Grade 3)

‘Kangaroo is a fun math exam that I am sure that everyone will enjoy even if you hate math or like it. The fun thing is that we had the kangaroo practice sessions which made it easier to study for the exam and made it a bit more fun to study with friends.I have participated for almost 3 years now and im pretty satisfied with the difficulty of the questions. I just want to say that, Kangaroo organization, you guys should keep it up with the fun exams and tests, Good Job! – Jeevan (grade 6)


Results will be made available at the end of May and we will make sure to include it in the May or June DIS News edition, so stay tuned.

If your school also took part and would like to have this information about the upcoming results included in the article, just reach our to Ingrid or Manon.

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