Motivating students at Key Stage 4

Over the last year students have had their maths learning disrupted due to the pandemic. The AMSP has put together a package of support for Key Stage 4 teachers to help with maintaining the interest of students in maths, motivate their learning and encourage them to consider studying maths post-16.

Key Stage 4 resources

The AMSP has a wealth of experience of providing enrichment and promoting the study of maths.

We have collated a selection of activities and resources for you to use with your classes to motivate and enrich their learning in mathematics. The resources vary in length and style, and can be used in different ways, such as class activities, individual/independent work, set for homework etc.

We will add a new set of three resources on a different topic every two weeks through the school year.

Resource focus: Probability

Where’s the maths in that?

 15 mins

Description

There are many images to provoke discussion and slide 20 encourages students to discuss ways to combine many flavours. Students could also do surveys, display data, discuss probabilities arising. How would you decide how to run an ice cream shop? Probability in the real world.

Topic

Combinations, investigations

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In-lesson task
  • Homework
  • Project
  • Group work
Task

Tornado Alley

 15 mins

Description

Students use their interpretation of probabilities to critique a news statement.

Topic

Interpreting probabilities

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In lesson task
  • Plenary
Task

Geometric Distribution

 15 mins

Description

Students develop their knowledge of the geometric distribution by looking at real world situations that can be modelled in this way.

Topic

Interpreting probabilities

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In-lesson task
  • Plenary
  • Homework
  • Independent work
  • Project
Task

Previous resources

Try being a Data Detective

 60 mins

Topic

Version B - Scatter graphs (Foundation)
Version C - Box plots, measures of central tendency and spread and scatter graphs

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In In-lesson task
  • Group work
  • Project
  • Homework
Go to resource

Try being a freelance filmmaker

 60 mins

Topic

Version B - Percentages, ratio and proportion (Foundation)
Version C - Percentages, ratio and proportion, geometric sequences (Higher)

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • Starter (the initial part of the resource)
  • In-lesson task
  • Independent work
Go to resource

Working for a cause you are passionate about

 60 min

Topic

Percentages and measures of central tendency and spread

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • Starter (the initial part of the resource)
  • In-lesson-task
  • Independent work
Go to resource

Not my cup of tea

 15 min

Topic

Calculating independent and dependent combined events, systematic listing

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • Independent work
  • Group work
  • Plenary
Problem Solution

What are the best sleeping arrangements?

 15 min

Topic

Problem solving using a systematic probability scaffold

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • Independent work
  • Group work
  • Homework
Problem Solution

Fighting the Epidemic

 60 min

Topic

Calculating the likelihood of expected outcomes

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Group work
Task Cards Solution

Equations Mystery

 45 mins

Description

This activity develops problem solving skills as students use facts to decipher a message. Students could work on it individually but it is ideal for group work.

Topic

Solving equations and inequalities

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • Plenary
  • In-lesson task
  • Group work
Task

Maths feast - Functions

 30 min

Description

This Maths Feast practice round is ideal for encouraging students to develop independent knowledge around this topic.

Topic

Investigation of composite functions

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Homework
  • Group work
Task

Artzee Maths

 60 mins

Description

This graphing app (Desmos or GeoGebra) based activity engages students by using transformations of functions to create artistic designs – encourage your students to get creative!

Topic

Transformations of functions and graphs

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Independent work
  • Group work
  • Project
Task

5 & 7 difference

 30 min

Topic

Forming and solving simultaneous equations

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Plenary
  • Group work
Problem Solution

Solving equations maze

 30 min

Topic

Solving linear and quadratic equations

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Group work
  • Homework
Presentation Student resource Teacher notes

A formula for prime numbers

 45 min

Topic

Algebraic proof and prime numbers

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Independent work
  • Group work
  • Project
Worksheet Solutions

Pentagonal Desks

 30 min

Topic

Angles

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • Homework
Problem Solution

Building Bridges

 60 min

Topic

Similar triangles, angles and length

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Group work
Instructions Cards Solution

Zigzag Area 1

 45 min

Topic

Area and perimeter

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Independent work
  • Homework
Problem Solution

Is Greenland bigger than Africa 2

 15 mins

Description

This activity encourages students to think about how 2D maps represent a 3D globe. It examines the differences between the Mercator and Peter’s projections which may generate socio-political and mathematical discussions.

Topic

Scale factors, maps

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In-lesson task
  • Homework
Task

Cable Car

 15 mins

Description

This question is available as a poster for displays and is ideal as a starter, plenary or short homework task.

Topic

Ratio, fractions, proportion

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In lesson task
  • Homework
  • Independent work
  • Plenary
Task

Kinematic Extension

 60 mins

Description

Examine real life situations using the suvat equations with a structured activity to support students.

Topic

Compound units, modelling

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Independent work
  • Project
Task

Problem 12 - Dropped!

 30 min

Topic

Repeated percentage change

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Independent work
  • Homework
  • Plenary
Problem Hints Solution

Swimming

 30 min

Topic

Ratio, fractions, proportion

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Independent work
  • Homework
Problem Solution

What can you see?

 60 min

Topic

Fractions, area, ratio, properties of shapes, angles, parallel lines

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Group work
Student resource Teacher resource

Shaded Squares 2

 15 min

Topic

Fractions and percentages including converting between units of measure.

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In-lesson task
  • Plenary
  • Group work
Problem Solution

Plan a festival

 45 min

Topic

Percentages of amounts

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • Homework
  • Independent work
  • Project
  • In-lesson task
  • Group work
Student resource Teacher resource

Where maths meets the world of work – urban regeneration

 60 min

Topic

Version B and C (Foundation and Higher) - problem solving using number and measurement covering area, scale drawings, profit and percentages

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • Starter (the initial part of the resource)
  • In-lesson-task
  • Homework
  • Group work
  • Project
Go to resource

Modulo arithmetic

15 mins

Description

This short task is an interesting way of embedding knowledge of operations. It could be combined with the recording of ‘Race to the Target!’ which can be found here

Topic

Operations with modulus

Ideal for:

Embedding skills

Possible uses:
  • Starter
  • In-lesson task
  • Plenary
  • Homework
Task

Squared Squares

 60 min

Description

This activity combines basic operations with problem solving to discover how squares can be combined into squares. A link to a Numberphile video is included.

Topic

Arithmetic problem solving

Ideal for:

Enriching knowledge

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
  • Group work
  • Project
Problem Teacher notes

Dastardly Digits

 30-45 mins

Description

This Maths Club activity support students through the maths behind a ‘mind reading’ trick, providing an engaging and enriching lesson.

Topic

Addition of numbers extending to algebra

Ideal for:

Extending understanding

Possible uses:
  • In-lesson task
Presentation Worksheet Teachers notes

Coming up

We'll add three new resources to this page every two weeks. Here's what we have planned:

Curriculum area Topics Available from
Probability
  • Combinations, investigations
  • Interpreting probabilities
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Statistics
  • Sampling and population statistics
  • Mean, median, mode
  • Displaying and analysing continuous data
Wednesday 24th November 2021

Other resources

The AMSP has many additional resources that you might be interested in.

Online enrichment event recordings

The AMSP has been running interactive live online enrichment events for Year 10 students. We've recorded shows that we're no longer running and provided accompanying teacher notes.

Go to recordings

Enrichment lessons

These activities work really well as enrichment lessons or as part of an ‘activity day’. They offer the opportunity for your students to step outside of the curriculum for a while and have fun doing mathematics and seeing where it can take them!

Go to resources

Where's the maths in that?

These resources are designed to demonstrate to students that maths can be found all around them. They are very easy to use, simply display a photograph and ask “Where is the maths in that?”. It's perfect for starters, ends of lessons, assemblies or even homework!

Go to resources

Taster lessons of maths beyond GCSE

This set of resources provide two taster sessions for each of Core Maths, A level Mathematics and A level Further Mathematics. They are designed either for use in the classroom or for students to work on independently.

Go to resources

Upcoming enrichment events

The AMSP runs events designed to engage your 11-16 students with maths, and inspire them to want to continue to study it beyond GCSE. All of our events have been adapted for online participation.

Space!

 45 mins

These enrichment events are designed to engage your Year 10 students while developing an area of GCSE mathematics beyond the curriculum. They will also inform students about their options for studying mathematics after GCSE. Any mathematics used in the session will be based on that expected at higher tier GCSE.

More information

Maths is everywhere

 45 mins

Maths is used in so many other subjects! Core Maths is a qualification which can sit alongside other A levels or BTECs - join us for an engaging session to find out how and why!

More information

Which career? How maths is used in different roles

 45 mins

This event will allow students to explore a career-related question, before working through possible solutions and explaining how this question arises within the career.

More information

Which career? Meet people working in different roles

 40 mins

This event will allow your students to question people from the world of work about how they use maths and different skills that are essential in their roles.

More information

Upcoming professional development opportunities

All of our professional development opportunities have been adapted for online participation.

Higher GCSE topics through mathematical thinking

 8 weeks

This course develops strategies and ideas for taking a higher tier topic and extending it, exploring the connections which deepen understanding and develop fluency, and which can be used immediately in the classroom.

More information