Suffolkmaths Homepage

Contextual Problems

Click here for Contextual Projects page             Click here for Visual Problems

What is Maths For - Let's not pretend everyone needs Mathematics beyond arithmetic - Click here

A presentation on why Dan Pearcy likes Mathematics and why students should discover and create their own - Click here

Nuffield Foundation Course Materials               Higher Course Materials                     Post 16 Course Materials

Climbing Everest - Thanks to Richard Drake for highlighting this article - Click here   (zoom in to get a real idea of just how amazing the picture really is)
Speed Distance and Time activity - Estimate how fast they could climb Everest - some good conversion maths, discussion and wow factor - PowerPoint

Some Contextual Problems that I used in the classroom - Click here

80 plus contextual ideas linked to the maths curriculum which are regularly updated - Click here

Over 60 problems to promote discussion - Click here

Thanks go to Mark Dawes (AST Comberton Village College) for composing/compiling many of the following resources

This is an example of a number of openers that can be used to stimulate discussion - click here for the document


The wings of a US Army Helicopter have a diameter of 44ft.
They rotate at 5.4 revolutions per second.

What is the speed of the tip of the blades?
How long does one revolution take?
What is the angular speed?


Short Problems Taken from the News

The following problems refer to items of news and in some cases require questions to be posed from the news story - Click here

Real World Maths

Welcome!  Real World Math is a collection of free math activities for Google Earth designed for students and educators. Mathematics is much more than a set  of problems in a textbook.  In the virtual world of Google Earth, concepts and challenges can be presented in a meaningful way that portray the usefulness of the ideas - Click here

321 Go

Lots of problems from this BBC series, which are posed via a video clip, all set within a sporting context - Click here

Figure This

80 Problem Solving Activities produced by the National Council of Maths Teachers of which many require estimation skills - Click here


NRiCH has produced an area of their website which is a set of mathematical-science problems devoted to exploring the richness of the vital mathematical ideas underlying science, technology and engineering in thoroughly physical, relevant and engaging contexts (STEM related tasks) - Click here

GAIM materials from 1990's which was a scheme which actively encouraged teaching and learning through practical problem solving and investigations now available free - Click here

The Nuffield Applying Mathematical Processes (AMP) activities are accessible to all secondary pupils, the practical explorations are set in realistic contexts with teacher notes for each activity include annotated examples of pupils' work, equipment required, key mathematical features, suitability for group work, and extension opportunities

Cre8ate Maths

These resources are designed to supplement the Bowland materials, they are on the whole shorter tasks, not requiring the use of ICT. The structure of the resources matches the 12 priority work/industry sectors in Yorkshire and Humberside. Resources for each sector will include activities that relate to the industrial or work related aspects of the context. The key characteristic of all the resources is that they link real and significant mathematical thinking with authentic real world applications: Many of the files are quite large so right click on the link and choose the save as option.  For the website - Click here [Free Registration required]

1.    Growing Food Building Silos Growing More Helicopter Seeds
2.    Chemicals Making Molecules Waste Management Hair and Beauty
Crystal Shapes 1 Crystal Shapes 2  
3.    Childcare Keeping Baby Warm Healthy Childhood Design a Playground
Painting the Playground    Excel    
4.    Building for the Future Architects Skills Building a Town
Buildings ppt
Tiling Patterns Rigid Structures Bricks and Tiles
5.    Digital Design Designing a Logo Working with Photos Programming
Maths in Art           Excel Pixel Perfection  
6.    Making Things Work Bridges and Structures Stretchiness Printing
Pit Stop    
7.    Food and Drink Boxes and Bottles Minimise or Supersize Packaging
Going Bananas    
8.    Health and Social Care Accessible Spaces Getting On Hand Eye Coordination
9.    Working at Play Running Tracks World Records Eco Tourism
Sort it Out    
10.  Getting There Working for Efficiency Ordering The Greenest Route
More Miles           Excel Ferries  
11.  Retail Services Containers ISBNs Supermarket Car Parks
Attracting Customers    
12.  Working With Others Islamic Design Running a Club Vedic Maths 1         Excel
Vedic Maths 2    

Bowland Maths

Bowland Maths makes maths fun and absorbing for pupils aged 11-14. The aim is to help change pupils' views of maths by increasing their motivation and enjoyment, which should help increase their confidence and their competence. A second aim is to help teach maths in a different way.

The Bowland Maths materials look very different from most maths teaching materials. They consist of innovative case study problems, each taking 3-5 lessons, designed to develop thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills as in the revised Key Stage 3 curriculum. Each case study is different, but all provide pupils and teachers with problems that are fun and engaging, while also being a rich maths experience.

To access the Website with all the resources - Click here

Bowland is now producing: Examples of assessment built into existing case studies, 40 short assessment tasks, two new CPD modules to support the assessment of Key Processes - Click here

Bowland Maths Support Materials
Build a School with Bottles Taken from the INSET materials Case Study 4

Links with Geography, Technology, Re-cycling!!!  How many bottles does it take to build a house? What size? Length? Width? Height? Outside area? Inside Area. If filled with sand, how much sand? (2 litre bottles) How much mortar to fill in between bottles area of cross section of bottle?

Different ways of making bricks 3 by 3 bottles taped together verses 7 bottle brick stuck together with PVA. Walls kept blowing over so frames had to be built. Still blowing over so weighting bottles by filling with water          
Bowland Task - Click here  

Pakefield Middle Project - Click here

Outbreak Antidotes Random Problems involving identifying Antidotes using ratios and fractions similar to those found in the Outbreak activity - Click here
Product Wars Market Research

Questionnaire adapted so that all students have the same questions 1, 2 and 3 but have autonomy for questions 4 and 5.  This enables whole class analysis of some of the data - B2 tab -Click here

PowerPoint explaining analysis task - Click here

  Design a Smoothie

PowerPoint with examples of food labels to be used an an introduction - Click here

Smoothie data sheet in a format for printing and handing out to students - Click here

Smoothie labels - 3 tabs - one for printing, one with formulas included and one where pupils can insert their own formulas - Click here

  Packaging Youtube Clip - Click here
You Reckon Games On
Lesson block Activity
Youtube Clip of the opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics giving pupils a feel for the size of the stadium - HD Clip Click here      Normal Clip - Click here
  Chain Gang
Sprinkler Activity
Youtube Clip of the 600km Human Chain formed across 3 Baltic States in 1989 - Click here
  PowerPoint A number of the tasks [Simple Simon, Thief, Chain Gangs, Games on and Heart Beat] placed onto a PowerPoint for use in the classroom - Click here

AQA have produced 30 exemplar tasks listed in alphabetical order from their pilot of the Functional Skills examination which can be obtained by clicking here

This excellent resource produced by Franck Powell for aim (achievement in maths) explores the topic of Mobile Phones - Click here

NCETM - up2d8 Magazines provide a topical context for a Maths problem with supporting resources:  NCETM

Binge Drinking Activity Video Clip of Lesson Task 1 Newspaper Article 1 Drinkwise Poster
Consumption of Wine Binge Fact Sheet Task 2 Newspaper Article 2 Breezer and 60%
Consumption of Beer Exemplar Unit Calculations      
Flight Plans Introduction Pupil Materials Answers