The New Curriculum – Bowland Maths
The new KS3 Framework has a renewed focus on using and applying Maths along with developing the Personal, learning and thinking skills and the Cross-curricular dimensions introduced with the new National Curriculum.
On reflection the content which we need to deliver has changed little and so with some tweaking our previous scheme of work will suffice in structure. This statutory change in the manner in which we deliver the content and offer opportunities to put the Maths in context, develop pupils personal skills and link in with other subjects can only be a good thing in my opinion.
There are a number of fantastic resource banks out there full of ‘rich’ mathematical tasks which we could use:
nRich: Hundreds of puzzles and investigations, updated monthly.
Kangaroo Maths: Particularly Using & Applying and Enrichment sections.
Bowland Maths: New resources designed specifically with the new curriculum in mind.
Defence Dynamics: Interactive resources / lesson plans based on real world scenarios from the MoD.
Of particular interest are the Bowland Maths resources, these have been produced by the Bowland Charitable Trust in conjunction with the NCETM. To quote their site:
‘Bowland Maths makes maths fun for pupils aged 11-14. The aim is to help change pupils’ views of maths by increasing their motivation and enjoyment, which should help increase their confidence and their competence. A second aim is to help teach maths in a different way.
The Bowland Maths materials look very different from most maths teaching materials. They consist of innovative case study problems, each taking 3-5 lessons, designed to develop thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills – as in the revised Key Stage 3 curriculum. Each case study is different, but all provide pupils and teachers with problems that are fun and engaging, while also being a rich maths experience. The case studies are not remotely like answering questions from a book. For Portraits of the case studies, click here.’
As a department we will be reviewing a number of these resources and planning their integration into our teaching over the coming weeks. I will add more in the future about any particular highlights.
Have you any other links to quality resources to enrich Maths teaching? How is your department tackling these changes?
Did you get round to reviewing any of the Bowland resources in the end?
I didn’t really get round to using any of the Bowland resources last year. Time pressures myself to review and plan for them were one factor. Another was finding computer time for classes, as a lot of them needed a good weeks worth of computer time plus pestering IT to install them, this was a hurdle I didn’t really get over.
It’s a shame they couldn’t have been wholly web based as this would have made them immediately more accessible to staff and pupils.
Some of them were wholly web-based. I know the ones that I developed were, and a number of others were too.
If you open the Bowland Player and browse the resources in there, clicking on a resource will give you its technical requirements – whether it can run online or needs to be installed, what OS it needs etc.
The ones I made could be run online, downloaded and run locally or run from a CD that Bowland would provide on request.
Sorry, the Bowland Player is accessed from the left-hand menu on http://www.bowlandmaths.org.uk. The resources are available only for UK schools, unfortunately.
Ah yes, as I said I was guilty of not finding enough time to review the resources properly. I’ll try and have a better look at them over the Summer break.
I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on these resources as, like I said on twitter, I’m going ahead with the development of more, similar (but more feature-rich) resources in the very near future and would welcome your feedback and suggestions.
It may also be worth discussing all of this over a pint in one of Manchester’s finest. 😉
Yeah that’d be good, and if you need some test pupils I’m sure I could find some. New job officially starts September so I can’t promise anything, but I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out. 🙂