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Jun 212017

mapThe Sheaf Valley Maths Trail is a short walk starting outside Sheffield City College on Granville Road, along the footpath to Sheffield Station and the steel blade sculpture, behind the station to the steel steps and the amphitheatre, up the hill to the Cholera Monument and then back to college via Clay Wood. Along the way you will answer questions on many different aspects of mathematics. It is suitable for school groups, college students studying Functional Skills, home schoolers and their parents or anyone who would like to have a go!

Download the student booklet here. It is best printed as a booklet.

amphitheatrescaledThere are also a teachers booklet and a powerpoint which I will send to you on request. Email to request these. Please let me know who you are planning to use it with.

Topics touched on on the trail include





Time calculations

Reading a timetable

Calculating journey cost

Speed Distance Time calculations

Shape and Space

Measuring length

Estimating length and weight

Symmetry (Line and Rotational)

3 dimensional shape


Circle calculations

Volume of a cuboid

Area of irregular shapes

Data Handling




Feel free to adapt the trail by missing out some questions and adding others to make it suitable for your students/pupils.

Split your group into teams of 3 or 4 people. Make sure less able students are paired with more able students. Each team will need a DIY tape measure, a large ball of string, a large protractor, a pencil and a calculator. You need to work out the logistics of ensuring there is someone to help at the various stopping points.

Tell your students to stay together, look after each other and take extra care when crossing roads. If this is a school/college outing you will need to fill in a risk assessment.



Penrose Triangle sheffcol_logo


Aug 032015

Here are the highlights of the 2015 Mens Final.

Can you use your skills to answer the questions? They range from easy Entry Level to GCSE questions involving data handling,  time, distance, speed and Pythagoras. There is a Scale Drawing task that is very good practice for Level 1 students.

The interactive version is here and the worksheet version is here.


Mar 262015


Pythagoras Theorem states that the square on the hypotenuse of a right angled triange is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. In algebra


Here are some useful links for Pythagoras Theorem.
Why does it work? Read theProof

Video showing Pythagoras Theorem with water.

Pythagoras demonstration to the tune of Popcorn!

The Best Pythagorean Rap ever!

Rock on Pythagoras

BBC Bitesize

Terrible joke!

Oct 192012

Here are my hands. Calculate the ratio of the length of the rectangle to the height by dividing 12 by 7.5.

Now work with a friend. One of you make the same shape with your hands, the other measures the length and width. Again calculate the ratio. Swop roles and do this again. You now have three ratios. What do you notice?

Here is the beginning of the Fibonacci Sequence. It is made by adding the two previous numbers together.

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21.

Work out the next 10 terms of the sequence and write them down.

Now calculate the ratio of each number compared to the number before it, like this. Round your answers to 4 decimal places.

1÷ 1 = 1

2÷ 1= 2

3÷ 2= 1.5

5÷ 3 = 1.6

8÷ 5 =1.6

13÷ 8 = 1.625

You continue for the next 10 terms. (Use a calculator!)

What do you notice?

You have discovered a very special number, called phi. Find out more about phi and the Golden Ratio here.

Oct 172012

Oct 122012

Download, print and cut out the triangles. Work with a friend to try and match all the questions with the correct answers and make a shape

Imperial and Metric Jigsaw

If you are stuck you can download the solution here

Oct 052012

Download, print and cut out the triangles. Work with a friend to try and match all the questions with the correct answers and make a shape.

Metic Length Jigsaw

Aug 082012

Try this gap fill exercise on screen or in worksheet format.