Staff Case Study – The ISP Maths Challenge

In 2020, we launched the ISP Maths Challenge, an annual free online competition for ISP students with a range of exciting team and individual prizes available to students. Our students go head-to-head with students from other ISP schools, testing their logical reasoning, and practising their analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.

To host the online competition, we have partnered with 3P to run the challenge on the award-winning Mathletics platform engaging students through gamified learning, rewarding improvement, and creating a positive and fun maths experience for all students regardless of their level.

The result of last year’s launch was incredible! 9,293 students participated in the Challenge from across 46 ISP schools to take part in an enthralling learning competition.

An interview with Johannes Bodenstein, Vice Principal of Reach British School in Abu Dhabi

Johannes Bodenstein

To mark the run up to this year’s competition, beginning in November 2021, we caught up with Johannes Bodenstein, Vice Principal of Reach British School to learn more about the ISP Maths Challenge for students in his school, the benefits of taking part as well as the top tips he has for engaging students for this year’s Challenge which promises to be even bigger and better!


What impact did the ISP Maths Challenge have on your students’ learning?

Students already love Mathletics and use it almost daily for assignments and homework. The ISP Maths challenge allowed our students at Reach British School to spend some time on the platform challenging each other on Live Mathletics. This helped strengthen their mental Maths and made them think on their feet. It became evident in daily lessons that their mental Maths had improved and, as a result, helped us extend our learning.


Did the competition inspire your students to get creative with Maths?

After the Maths Competition, students at our school were excited to explore more areas of Mathletics and get familiar with different types of questions. It helped students be more comfortable creating their own questions and finding out about the ‘whys’ behind different concepts and topics.


What were some of the most memorable moments of the competition?

Having students from Reach British School get gold certificates so early in the academic year motivated all other students to get online and earn as many points as possible. It was also so rewarding to receive messages from students after they had seen their name on the hall of fame. It brought them so much joy.


How does the competition help build students’ skills and confidence in maths and problem-solving?

The competition does wonders for each student’s ability to compute numbers mentally. Without this, students waste time when trying to complete more challenging questions.

Some students spent so much time on Mathletics that they had completed all the curriculum content and needed to be assigned a different, more challenging curriculum to allow them to continue to earn points. Seeing this and seeing how eager students were to challenge themselves and “self-study” content, was inspiring. Having students experience “aha!” moments and continue to try until they were successful was also great to see.

What would be your top tip(s) to other ISP teachers to help their students get the most out of the ISP Maths Challenge this year?


Remind your students about the competition daily. Use different platforms to communicate with parents about the competition, too, so parents can allow their children to spend more time on the platform during competition week.


Monitor the Hall of Fame and let everyone know when your student’s names appear. Students love this!


Make sure students understand how to earn points and the maximum number of times they can complete each topic.


Be available for students who have questions, as some might complete the content that has been assigned to them and may need their teacher to assign a different curriculum so they can continue to earn points.


Enjoy:) and allow students to have fun and choose what they are most confident in so they can get the best out of Mathletics.

The ISP Maths Challenge for this year begins in November 2021 and we hope to see even more students from across the ISP globe coming together to engage, challenge and learn!

You can read more about the ISP Maths Challenge here as well as watch the video about the details of this year’s Challenge.

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