The subject content for Mathematics includes the use of data in Statistics and specifies that “Specifications should require students to explore the data set(s), and associated contexts, during their course of study to enable them to perform tasks that assume familiarity with the contexts, the main features of the data and the ways in which technology can help explore the data. Specifications should also require students to demonstrate the ability to analyse a subset or features of the data using a calculator with standard statistical functions.”
Calculators used must include the following features: an iterative function and the ability to compute summary statistics and access probabilities from standard statistical distributions.
From the Examination Boards:
- AQA: The large data set UK Department for Transport Stock Vehicle Database is found with their Assessment resources. On AQA’s All About Maths see AQA Large Data Set – Guidance and Worksheets including a tool to help support teaching the statistics content of the specification. This is an amended version of the large data set spreadsheet, the first three sheets are as on the AQA large data set but there are many additional sheets which allow students to explore the large data set. The tools are all provided for students, they do not need knowledge of Excel, meaning time can be spent on interpreting the data rather than learning about Excel.
- Pearson Edexcel: Weather data samples provided by the Met Office are included with the specification materials, see the Data Set Activities from the Teaching and Learning Materials.
- From OCR comes a very helpful document, Teaching Statistics Using Large Data Sets which includes information and teaching suggestions. Information is provided on both OCR specification A and OCR (MEI) Specification B. The Data set for Specification A is under Pre-release materials on this page. Four sets of data: two each from the censuses of 2001 and 2011; two on method of travel to work and two showing the age structure of the population make up the large data set.
- MEI’s approach is different in that three data sets will be provided for teaching, these will be used in a three yearly cycle. For first teaching beginning in September 2017, we have Large Data set 1 on which consists of data about countries from the CIA World Factbook and will be used for H630/02 and H640/02 in June 2018 and H640/02 (A level only) in June 2019.
The September/October 2017 edition of MEI’s very helpful M4 magazine has a focus on the teaching of Statistics and includes information and examples of updates on the large data sets for all the examination boards. Note the good PowerPoint resource which could also be used with younger students to get them thinking about the presentation and interpretation of data. (The PowerPoint resource is shown in the magazine or download from this page under the September/October 2017 issue.)
Edexcel’s Teaching and Learning Materials offer excellent Statistics support.
Scroll down Edexcel’s page and select ‘Show more’.
Note the menu on the left (select show more) – direct link to teacher guides.
From Hodder Education, scroll down this page for a data set on Cycling accidents. This data set has 93 records on cycling accidents including for example distance from home and wearing a helmet y/n. The data is discussed in Hodder’s book for MEI A Level Maths but clearly it is also a very useful resource in its own right. We can introduce larger data sets for younger students too and a set such as this would work well.
See this post on Regression which includes the use of GeoGebra for data analysis.
From Cambridge Mathematics, this post looks at using Excel to explore the variability of samples.
Eduqas will not be offering AS / A Level Mathematics specifications, but note their Level 3 Statistical Problem Solving Using Software.
Educas state: “The objective of this qualification is to assist the understanding of the problem-solving cycle of planning, collecting, processing and discussing in meaningful contexts and to use statistical software to process real data sets. It has been specifically designed to be taught in schools and colleges to equip learners aged 16-19 with a broad range of skills empowering them to successfully negotiate statistical problems in Higher Education or the world of work.”
Also from WJEC, we have their KS5 resource, Exploring Large Data Sets which includes several data sets and very comprehensive Teacher notes.
The notes include many questions to consider and also clear instructions for Excel and GeoGebra.