About cookies

The NCETM site uses cookies. Read more about our privacy policy

Please agree to accept our cookies. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're happy to accept them.


Personal Learning Login

Sign Up | Forgotten password?
Register with the NCETM

Secondary Magazine - Issue 14: An idea for the classroom

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 07 July 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 14 July 2008 by ncetm_administrator

Secondary Magazine

Welcome to issue 14 of the NCETM Secondary Magazine. Fortnightly features include: The Interview, Around the regions, An idea for the classroom, 5 things to do, The Diary and Focus on. This issue, 'An idea for the classroom' features the question: Can you do mathematics?
An Idea for the Classroom
Can you do mathematics?

Mathematics has had a lot of media exposure recently. The publication of the Williams Review into Primary Mathematics has recommended several initiatives to boost the mathematical achievement of pupils. On 17 June, the BBC reported that:

There is to be a renewed emphasis on mental mathematics in England's primary schools, with 13,000 maths specialists to spearhead better teaching.”

Have a look at the video clip ‘Can you do maths?’ which was produced as part of James Westhead’s investigation into adults’ ability to handle mental mathematics. A cross section of adults are asked if they can work out 20% of 200. There are some notable failures, some people who are trying to use strategies, and some people who just know the correct answer.

Image of '20% of £2' from BBC Website
(image from BBC page)


Could you use this in your classroom?

You could show this clip to a group of Year 7/8 students – I’m thinking about those students who do have some strategies for this sort of calculation but are not confident with their own ability. Ask some questions like these:

  • Who is right?
  • What strategies were people trying to remember?
  • Could you help the adults who can’t do this calculation? It’s not very helpful to just tell them the answer!
  • Can you make up some similar calculations and provide their answers?
  • Could you make a similar video in your school or your home using a calculation you have made up?

 Back to top

Secondary Focus - Portal Tour  
Visit the Secondary Magazine Archive

Browse... Issue 14
Homepage, The Interview, Around the regions, 5 things to do, The Diary, Focus on

Browse... PD Activities
Self-evaluation, Why do we teach mathematics?, Learning mathematics in my school, Pathways and options at KS3 to KS5, Mathematical Vocabulary, Revision, Group Work, C/D Borderline, Planning teaching and learning, Technology for learning

Focus on Sequences


The Diary - real issues in the life of a fictional Subject Leader


End of Key Stage National Tests


5 things to do


The Interview - James Wenger


Around the regions - news, views and updates from the NCETM Regional Coordinators


Explore the Secondary Forum

Contact us - share your ideas and comments 

Comment on this item  
Add to your NCETM favourites
Remove from your NCETM favourites
Add a note on this item
Recommend to a friend
Comment on this item
Send to printer
Request a reminder of this item
Cancel a reminder of this item



There are no comments for this item yet...
Only registered users may comment. Log in to comment