All of our maths workshops for secondary schools in Scotland have been carefully designed to put into context and actively promote the keystones of the Curriculum for Excellence – as well, of course, as supporting the push to Make Maths Count. Tapping into pupils’ own creativity, our unashamedly fun workshops engage, motivate and, crucially, challenge the children and young people we work with, providing them with meaningful experiences and outcomes.
Over half a million children and young people have taken part in one of our Creative Maths workshops.
Situated in “fictional worlds”, our workshops offer opportunities to practise skills with numbers, shapes and concepts in exciting, imaginative and interactive ways. All are differentiated for age – while some also offer the possibility of differentiating for ability within a single year group. And all, of course, offer you and your colleagues the chance to experience some exciting new methodologies that can immediately and easily be adapted to other contexts. You can view our primary maths workshops for schools in Scotland here.
And, to fully capitalise on the new approaches you’ll have seen in action, why not end your day with a Creative Maths Twilight for staff? Our CPD programmes are highly experiential and outcomes-driven, so you’ll have a chance to un-pick what you’ve witnessed, try out some more new methodologies and take part in active, collaborative planning. And, by booking this at the end of a day of our workshops with pupils, you’ll get it all for a fraction of the usual price!
CSI: Maths (S1 - S5)
A challenging mystery to engage your students and get them thinking logically
There are two CSI: Maths programmes to choose from. Each can accommodate up to 30 pupils at a time, takes between 1 - 2 lessons and can be differentiated across S1 - S5 ...
CSI: Michaela Maths
If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of one of her teammates, Michaela Maths, one of Scotland's most promising young sporting stars, would be dead – slain by an unseen hand! The police are baffled by the crime and want the pupils’ help in solving it. Having been introduced to the crime, the suspects and their possible motives, students will work in teams on a carousel probing a range of mathematical skills. Taken together, these lead to the suspects being eliminated, one by one – until, if all the calculations are correct, the criminal is unmasked.
Exploring: additive and multiplicative reasoning; recognition and application of number patterns; mental and written calculations; manipulation of 2D shapes; calculating areas and/or volumes; presenting and interpreting data.
Duration: 1 – 2 lessons, depending on how many classes
Suitable For: up to 30 pupils at a time
"One of the best STEM Events that I have ever booked. The students found the workshops extremely interesting, engaging and fun. One pupil asked, “Miss, can we do this every Thursday?” (Park Mains High School, Erskine)
CSI: Bake Off
All is not well in the world of the Bake Off – one of the judges, Saul Pinewood, has had food poisoning – and he knows it wasn’t an accident! He’s narrowed the field down to six suspects – and hopes that pupils can use their understanding of fractions, percentages and measurements to help him take the final step.
Exploring: collecting, collating, presenting and interpreting data; mean, median and mode; fractiles and percentiles.
Suitable for: up to 30 pupils at a time.
Duration: 1 – 1½ hours, depending on how many classes
“It was by far our most popular event during maths week. The students enjoyed the competitiveness of the trading game, it was great for their group and negotiating skills. The delivery and hosting of the activity was superb!” (Teacher, Langholm Academy)
The Priorities Game
Working in teams - and responding to change - to put maths in context
This thought provoking workshop sees students working in teams to create a series of budgets designed to fund an exciting new community initiative. The sting in the tail, though, is that each team will represent a different interest group, with, of course, different priorities. And whether the students are representing other young people of their own age, local businesses or police officers, they’ll have to bear those priorities in mind as they put maths in context by putting together “wish lists” based on limited budgets. They’ll be given the prices of some popular items (other costings being available on request!) and will be supported throughout by a structured planning scaffold - but they’ll also have to continually review their decisions in the light of rapidly changing events. At the end of the day, however, only one budget can be implemented - and it’ll be the power of teams’ final presentations that determines the outcome!
Exploring: maths in context, additive reasoning, multiplicative reasoning, fractions, percentages, teamwork, oracy
Duration: 2 lessons (the activity can be repeated several times in a single day)
Murderous Maths (S1 - S3)
Interactive problem solving for up to 180 S1 - S3 pupils (with follow-up workshops for up to 90)
It’s exactly 100 years to the day since the grisly demise of Puffing Billy – and this unique workshop allows up to 180 pupils from KS3 attempt to crack the case at the same time. After everyone’s been introduced to the crime scene, the victim and the suspects (and been armed with Evidence Booklets), we’ll reveal a series of clues – including blood stains, omnibus tickets and personal belongings. As pupils practise their maths skills, the suspects will be whittled down one by one – until only the criminal remains. But there’s still more to do – because the identity of his or her accomplice has yet to be revealed. A job that will be undertaken in up to three follow-up workshops, each for up to 30 pupils.
Exploring (according to year group and time): measurements, number investigations, additive and multiplicative reasoning, time, positional language, properties of 2D and 3D shapes, problem-solving, angles, trajectories.
Duration: one day.
An absolutely fantastic day. The pupils that took part were fully engaged through the entire time Jackson was working with them. The enthusiasm for problem solving and maths was obvious from the pupils, and there have already been requests for another visit!” (St Mungo’s Academy, Glasgow)
The Trading Game (S1 - S7)
A high energy activity that challenges students’ understanding of shape, probes concepts of “value” and asks them to cope with the unexpected!
Our high energy Trading Games provide students with opportunities to think about maths in some very different ways. Working in an ever-shifting environment, they’ll come to understand that “value” can be a concept that changes depending on circumstances, that the ability to prioritise is an essential mathematical skill, and that the properties of 2D shapes allow them to be arranged in a variety of ways.
Working in small groups, each representing a different country, students first participate in warm-up activities - specifically designed to both support the development of team skills and get them thinking about shapes. The Trading Game itself begins – and the reason for its title quickly becomes clear as the teams realise that the only way they can succeed is by negotiating with other countries. The more they produce, the more points they get – and there are plenty of opportunities to win bonus points by answering explicitly mathematical questions (pitched at an appropriate level, after discussions with you).
Fast, furious and fantastically engaging, our popular Trading Game workshops can accommodate up to 60 pupils at a time and can last anything from a double lesson to half a day - and require a large space, equipped with a data projector and screen. The Game can be conducted in a single lesson – but, in order to give the students a fuller experience, we prefer double that time. And, in addition to the “standard” format outlined above, we have developed variations that feature geographical, economic and ethical dimensions too.
Exploring: tessellation, changing values, problem-solving.
Duration: 2 lessons to two days, depending on how many classes
Suitable for: up to 60 pupils at a time
Number Patterns: The Bunker (S1 - S5)
A fast-paced workshop contextualising sequencing and making connections between maths and other subjects
At the heart of maths, of course, lies the ability to identify, analyse and predict patterns. so, inspired by the work of Alan Turing and his fellow mathematicians at Bletchley Park during World War II, The Bunker is based in cryptology – the writing and reading of codes. Appealing to all age and ability ranges, The Bunker has a simple premise. Working in teams, and at their own pace, students need to identify as closely as possible the location of a Enemy Radio Transmitter by cracking a series of increasingly fiendish numeric, geometric and semiotic ciphers. The more codes they crack, the more precisely they’ll be able to pin the Transmitter down.
The Bunker has been so successful over the years that we've now developed the most challenging version so far (for those who wish to take it!). Calling on participants to manipulate numbers, geometrics and abstract symbols, it's ideal for high-ability mathematicians - and provides a perfect way of demonstrating just how far maths can take you!
Exploring (according to year group and time): number relationships, empirical thinking, properties of 2D shapes, sequences and patterns, Rebus codes, Caesar Shifts, Keywords and semiotics.
Duration: 2 lessons – half a day
Suitable for: up to 30 pupils at a time
Big Maths Days
We know that it's often important for secondary schools to offer activities to whole year groups - and we understand, too, the logistical difficulties that this can bring. So we've designed Big Maths Days that allow up to 240 students to carousel around a number of our maths workshops (including; The Trading Game, The Bunker, Selling Maths, The Priorities Game) in the course of one day. Different configurations are available for differently sized schools, so please ask, as we’d be delighted to design a Big Maths Day for you! discover more on the Big Maths Days page
Mathematical fun for all the family! We all know how much family support benefits children's learning. So our Family Maths workshops have been specifically developed to gain and cement that support by offering a fun and friendly environment in which parents/carers work alongside their children on activities that both explore the value of maths and unpick fluency, reasoning and problem-solving. And, by tackling our Household Maths Trail, they'll discover just how easy it is to use any part of the home as a stimulus for quick and impromptu maths challenges a fantastic way of Making Maths Count!.
Family Maths workshops are available in a range of formats - but if you book one at the end of a day of workshops with pupils, we'll be happy to offer you a healthy discount!
Maths Twilight (add-on workshops for staff)
To fully capitalise on the new approaches you'll have seen in action, why not end your day with a Creative Maths Twilight for staff? Our CPD programmes are highly experiential and outcomes-driven, so you'll have a chance to un-pick what you've witnessed, try out some more new methodologies and take part in active, collaborative planning. And, by booking this at the end of a day of our workshops with pupils, you'll get it all for a fraction of the usual price!