Our Creative Maths workshops for secondary schools have been carefully designed to both put into context and actively promote the three keystones of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem-solving. Tapping into pupils’ own creativity, our unashamedly fun workshops engage, motivate and, crucially, challenge the young people we work with.
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 practice 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.
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 unpick 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!
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 by year group at KS3 and KS4...
CSI: Michaela Maths
If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of one of her teammates, Michaela Maths, one of Britain’s most promising young athletes, 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
"The maths staff were unanimously of the opinion that this was one of the best maths workshops we have had. Jackson was an excellent presenter... his enthusiasm for maths was infectious and I particularly liked his emphasis on looking at the wider benefits of developing maths skills. i.e. identifying patterns, seeing that maths isn’t just numbers, problem-solving. We will definitely look to be using you again in future." Notre Dame School, Cobham
"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.” Langholm Academy
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
“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 Main High School
"A huge thank you! Many of the students involved said it was one of their favourite parts of the week. I will be recommending as creatives to colleagues in other departments and schools without a doubt!" Kingsway School
Number Patterns: The Bunker
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 an 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, Key words and semiotics.
Suitable for: up to 30 pupils at a time
Duration: 2 lessons – half a day
"The students were constantly challenged and the puzzles drew from a wide range of mathematical areas. Thanks for the hard work, I’ll be sure to use As Creatives again in the future!” Archbishop Beck Sports College
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)
Suitable For: KS3/KS4 / S1 - S5 (up to 30 students at a time)
Interactive problem solving for up to 180 KS3 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 practice 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.
“With seventy Year 8's in the room, all engaged in activity, the room was buzzing - and every single one of them was doing maths!" Head of Maths, Pendale Vale College
“CSI: Maths was fun but challenging - exciting, active, different - and really enjoyable! We learnt new things, it made us think - and everyone was involved. It was amazing!" Year 7 Pupils, Weatherhead Media Arts College
The Trading Game
A high energy activity that challenges students’ understanding of shape, probes concepts of “value” and asks them to cope with the unexpected!
The Trading Game provides 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.
And while the Game has its own intrinsic merit, of course, its greater value lies in the follow-up – where students are facilitated through a process allowing them to identify and categorise the skills they have had to use.
Fast, furious and fantastically engaging, The Trading Game workshop can accommodate up to 60 pupils at a time and can last anything from an hour to half a day. It exisits in a range of age-differentiated formats.
Exploring: tessellation, changing values, problem-solving.
Duration: 1 hour - 1 day
Suitable for: up to 60 pupils at a time
“All who witnessed the level of buzz and atmosphere in the room were simply blown away by the engagement of students, the high energy environment and delighted in watching students find clever and innovative approaches... A superb day was had by all.” Altwood Church of England School
Big Maths Activity 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 KS3/4 students to carousel around a number of very different creative Maths workshops in the course of one day. Workshops can include; CSI: Maths, Selling Maths, Trading Games, The Expedition and The Bunker. Find out more about our Big Maths days here!
"The greatest thing was that students were using a multitude of skills without knowing it; problem solving, communication, teamwork."Charles Darwin School
View our Secondary Maths leaflet below
Combining murder mysteries and problem solving, CSI: Maths is one of our best selling programmes in primary and secondary schools across the UK – offering pupils an opportunity to apply their skills in, and understanding of shape and measurement in a unique environment.