Diary Dates

Thursday, March 2nd

World Book Day, the World Book Day page includes ideas for Maths activities, also many recommended books.

AQA - Read All About It
AQA – Read All About It

Wednesday. 8th March – World Maths Day

Free for all students to take part, registration opens on 22nd February, but you can pre-register to stay up to date with the latest updates and important announcements about the event; if you pre-register you will be sent a Teacher Handbook. See Frequently Asked Questions for further information. World Maths Day is designed to start simultaneously across all regions so students can compete against students from across the globe – not just in their time zone. This also means that some students will have access on the 7th of March.

March 6th – March 11th – National Careers Week

National Careers Week (NCW) is a one-week celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK. Follow National Careers Week for updates.

See Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers for guidance and resources for Mathematics.

4. Linking curriculum learning to careersAll teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

Tuesday, March 14th

Pi Day – why not try NASA’s Pi Day Challenge which goes live on March 9th?

Celebrate Pi Day with NASA

March 14th is also the International Day of Mathematics. The theme for 2023 is Mathematics for Everyone.

Looking at the suggestions to decorate an International Day of Mathematics event note this Mathematical Origami from the amazing Mathigon site.


Wednesday, April 26th

With the Junior Maths challenge approaching in April, a reminder of Challenge Prompts and other problem-solving resources.

Challenge Prompts – Andrew Stewart Brown

Talking of dates, we could try Days and Dates from Nrich or Calendar Maths investigation on Transum.

Transum – Calendar Investigation

Statistics – Large Data Sets

The A Level (16+) resources collection includes a page on large data sets. This has been completely updated to provide further resources. Whilst UK exam board-specific resources are covered there are additional resources here that could be used for any exam board and for teaching statistics generally.

Included on the page are:

  • Resources for all exam boards
  • AQA
  • Edexcel
  • OCR A
  • OCR – MEI
  • Further data sets and teaching resources

A small sample of the many resources on the page:

AMSP Workbook
Lucyjc – Knowledge Organisers – Statistics
WJEC Large Data Set Resources
WJEC – Exploring Large Data Sets
STEM Learning


GCSE content

Looking at some favourite resource websites, some recommended resources for teaching functions …

For an excellent introduction the PhET Simulation, Function Builder provides a very visually appealing resource. Using the pattern option even very young students could explore important concepts. This is very intuitive to use, the slides in the following slideshow demonstrate examples of its use. Note that teachers can register with PhET and gain access to supporting documentation.

Desmos can be used very simply to illustrate function notation and note the use of Desmos as a calculator to evaluate the value of a function for a given input.

Functions - Desmos. Select image for graph page
Functions – Desmos. Select image for graph page

From White Rose Maths, we have Year 7 work on algebraic thinking, including function machines, and in Year 11, Functions.

White Rose Maths – Year 7, Algebraic Thinking, understand and use algebraic notation

Dr Austin Maths

Dr Austin Maths on Functions

As always CIMT is worth a search; we find:

CIMT Interactive Materials - Functions
CIMT Interactive Materials – Functions

In the interactive materials for year 7: Unit 16 Section 2: Function Machines and there is also a section in the associated text (16.2). All CIMT resources are free to access, a small number of documents such as text answers are password protected, you can obtain the CIMT password. These exercises could be used as an introduction and students also shown function notation. They could write the functions described by the function machines using f(x) notation.

AQA Bridging the Gap

The AQA Bridging the Gap resources includes a resource on introducing function notation; These resources were originally designed to support teaching and learning for students who studied the 2007 Key Stage 3 Programme of Study and were preparing for the then new Mathematics GCSE. The resources are still very useful. 

On Transum, try this online exercise on function notation, inverse functions and composite functions.

Functions - Transum
Transum – Functions

There are also many more activities on functions on Transum.

For a challenging problem on Function Notation, try this from Open Middle.

Andy Lutwyche – Building Blocks, Function Notations

From Andy Lutwyche, a resource I have always liked is one of his excellent Building Blocks series on Function Notation. We can also search his site on functions. (I am so pleased to see Andy’s resources on his own site, andylutwyche.com.)

Or we could help Clumsy Clive with his homework on Function Notation.

From CorbettMaths try the Practice Questions.


On DrFrostMaths, try the Functions Key Skills.

From Don Steward, try these lovely questions on Compound Functions.

Maths HKO

From MathsHKO see Function Machines, and also Functions.

We could simplify expressions on Graspable Math

On Starting Points Maths, a search on Functions returns several tasks, including work on Graphs and Transformations.

On Maths Genie, under Grade 7, we have Inverse and Composite Functions. You will find some revision examples and also exam questions with solutions.

Maths Genie Functions
Maths Genie – Inverse and Composite Functions

For a compilation of GCSE questions, William Neill’s GCSE Maths Questions site is so useful. Under Algebra, we see A7 Function Machines and A65-68 (H) Functions.

On MathsBot we could use GCSE Exam Style Questions for higher questions on Composite functions.

Or use a GCSE Revision Grid.

TES Functions
TES Resources – Functions

On TES, this Crossnumber from cbarthur is an ideal resource for becoming familiar with function notation. Also on TES from Owen134866 we have a set PowerPoint resources including an introduction to f(x) notation for GCSE students.

OCR GCSE 9-1 Check in tests

From OCR, Check in tests can be very useful, consider the language of functions for example, the first questions could be used for students as young as Year 7 (age 11-12).

Functions – Plymouth University

See also these very clear notes with exercises from Plymouth University including Functions..

Mathematical Miscellany #79

Looking ahead to summer examinations, this year there will not be advance infomation as there was last year, but in GCSE Mathenatics students will again have formaule sheets; the exam boards have now published these. This page, Examinations 2023, includes links to infomation and the formulae sheets for each exam board. The page also includes the series of revision pages with many ideas and resources for revision.

Formulae sheets 2023

OCR formulae test

OCR additionally have formulae sheets top tips, and GCSE formulae tests.

Mathsbot – Directed Number

I often use Jonathan Hall’s wonderful Completion Tables so was delighted to see that these are all in one place on MathsBot, a personal favorite is his Directed Number.

(See Fill in the Blanks for many such exercises, and Negative Numbers for more resources on Negative Numbers.)

Regular readers will be aware a favourite website of mine is Transum, two recent additions are Algebraic HCF with Algebraic HCF and LCM exercises over 5 levels and Gradients now with a new level 2 which features straight lines drawn on axes where the vertical scale is different from the horizontal scale, soe labels are obscured for an additional challenge.

From Chris McGrane on Starting Points Maths, have a look at this lovely task on Integration which provides much needed practice on deciding on the integration required to determine the areas shown. Students are required only to write down the integrals with limits.  

It struck me that the questions could be checked and illustrated on WolframAlpha.

Both MathsBot and Transum featured in my Enduring Websites collection, websites started between 1997 and 2013, and still there! MathsBot and Transum are regularly producing such excellent resources after many years. I believe Starting Points Maths will be included in the next Enduring websites collection!

These slides are from a session I presented at last year’s MA Conference.