Friday 9th December

Hello Maths,

Apologies for a very late Friday bulletin. I started wrapping Christmas presents, and it took a lot longer than I had expected. Next year I’m only buying cuboid shaped presents (I’m sure I say that every year).

Anyway, not much to write about this week – just a little bit about the upcoming test year 9/10 test (non-calculator btw).

While writing this test I was reminded about this question from the 2012 KS2 tests. This is an ‘old style’ question and was the worst answered question that year.


This question was discussed at length at a conference for Primary Headteachers when the new Primary curriculum was launched the following year. They discussed how they thought the question was too difficult for their children.  The Director of Primary for the NCETM then distributed strips of paper and did this:


She then asked the Headteachers to answer the question.  They very quickly came up with strips similar to this:


which gave the answer 24 without any calculation.

This structure can also be used to answer question 12 on the latest year 9/10 non-calculator test paper.


If you use your strip of paper, this 4 mark question is ridiculously easy.


I wonder how many of our students will use a diagram to answer the question?

I am aware that students can access this page, so I may have inadvertently given away a question on the test. However, if they are so keen to do well that they are trawling their teachers’ maths bulletins, then I think they deserve a few free marks!

I will be starting to put together the Spring 1 units of work for years 7 & 8 this week.  Year 7 will be on Angles, and Year 8 will be on 2D Geometry. For year 8, the first few lessons will be the area lessons from year 7, as they won’t have seen those lessons before.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend – not long to go now!