Maths Murder Mystery: KS4 Problem Solving in Ashbourne

Monday 19th November 2018

Ria Symonds, AC for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Our most recent KS4 Problem Solving event was a hit with both teachers and students. Taking place at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne, the event was split into three sessions, each designed to encourage teamwork in an enjoyable and competitive environment. Students developed mathematical, teamwork and communication skills.

The first session was a Murder Mystery activity, where teams worked together to solve 5 mathematical clues to reveal ‘whodunnit’! The areas of maths that were covered included bearings, converting between fractions and decimals, algebra and mathematical logic.

The second session gave students a more open-ended style problem entitled “Packaging”. Their task was to calculate dimensions and pricing of a packaging product to fit into distribution lorries and attempt to make a certain amount of profit. The team were expected to write up their work in the form of a poster so as to practice their written and communication skills. The final session was a shorter more hands-on problem of paper folding and construction.

The morning was a huge success and it was a pleasure to see the students so engaged with the maths activities. Here are some comments from those that attended the day:

  • “Excellent event. All the way through [the day] the students were focused. All maths was accessible and timings ensured students did not have to rush/panic. They liked the packaging task as they could link this with the GCSE spec” – teacher
  • “I enjoyed the problems we had to solve. It applies well to real life.” – student
  • “It was fun and tested my ability” – student

The next KS4 Problem Solving morning will take place at City of Derby Academy on the 21st March 2019. You can find out more in our events listing.

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