Tes Maths: Projects, investigations and enrichment tasks

Craig Barton
04th June 2018
Tes Maths: Projects, investigations and enrichment tasks for secondary

Get excited about going off-plan with these engaging resource packs, lesson ideas and investigative activities

With exams nearly over and schemes of work coming to an end, there may be time to do something slightly different in maths lessons. Perhaps an investigation to apply the knowledge and skills students have acquired over the year, a project to allow them to work creatively as a team to produce something special, or an enrichment activity to show pupils just how interesting maths can be.

Whatever you have in mind, the selection of resources below, created and shared by the generous and talented members of the TES Maths community, should inspire you.

Craig Barton, Tes Maths Adviser


Investigations offer an opportunity for students to pull together many of the skills and knowledge they have learned over the course of the year and to apply them in a different context.

Summer term after SATs maths investigation

Lots of fun investigations to keep year 6 going after SAT tests.
By cleggy1611

Maths Investigations : Chess Board, Happy Numbers

A range of mathematical investigathions for KS3 (11-14) Year olds including How many Squares on a Chess board, Happy Numbers, Largest and Smallest Answers, Deciimal Multiplications, Mystic Rose, Vedic Square, Bacteria, Staircases, Types of Number and Tetrahedron Tower

By davecavill

Assorted Investigations

Investigations were once a major part of GCSE until coursework was abolished, and one exam board said 'you can now concentrate on teaching&'. But we are in the business of learning, a word which is taking prominence over the word teaching. I've had fun with these over the years, and always keen to share.
By colinbillett

Maths Investigations

Based on the Science tasks produced in East Sussex, these investigation starter sheets give an introduction to a topic for investigation, with levelled guidance for progressing the investigation and to allow self- and peer-assessment. Targetted at Y7, these may be suitable for several year groups in KS2/3 Please note that the levelling guide is a first draft and may change. There are currently six investigations: one based on positive & negative numbers, one on sequences, one on area/perimeter, one on polyominoes, one on handling data, and the sixth on probability. Any suggestions warmly welcomed at tafkam.tes@googlemail.com

By tafkam


Much like investigations, projects prompt pupils to use and apply their knowledge, often with the option to work as part of a team in a fun context.

CREST Gold - Pick Up and Run Project Ideas

This booklet gives you some easy-to-use project ideas and photocopy-able worksheets. Linking closely to the curriculum, projects fall into three categories: Research Investigation/Design and Make Science Communication CREST is Britain’s largest national award scheme for project work in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).It gives 11-19 yr olds opportunities to explore real world projects in a dynamic way.
By CRESTAwards

Build the School Project

Combining a vast array of topics from Shape and Measures, this is the ulimate end of year project. The basic idea is to construct a scale model of the school buildings. In doing this, the students must use a whole host of skills they have developed, including: measuring; scales; Pythagoras; Trigonometry; designing Nets; plans and elevations. It also has extension problems involving surface area and volume. Included in the file is a sheet to give to students with instructions of the task, and also a set of teacher's notes. If you use this resource, feedback of how it went is really appreciated.
By Interactive Maths

Functional Mathematics: Design a Bedroom

LO:  To plan and price a bedroom.
Overview: Students use a catalogue to buy furniture and then make a scale drawing of a bedroom of their own design.
Suggested approach: Use the introduction PowerPoint to engage the students with the task. Once all questions have been answered each student can then be given a copy of the wall calculation sheet to work through as a class. Once this is complete give out the catalogues and the choices sheets. Once they have chosen their furniture given them the room plan sheet to complete a scale drawing.
By dhoskin

Maths Rocket Project - Level 5 - KS3

In this investigation students build water bottle rockets out of pop bottles. This project will require students to start their rocket building business. Students are tested with their knowledge of Maths (Level 5), Science, and Business. This project, adapted from the Teacher’s TV version, has been abridged to 3 hours of lesson time. Maths skills, suitable for KS3 Level 5 and up, includes:Place values; Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing Money; Measuring mass, volume, time, temperature, angles, diameters, and circumferences; Scaling Social Skills include: • Planning; Team work .
By jhleung


The end of the year is the perfect time to stop worrying about whether something is on the GCSE or A-level syllabus and to challenge students with some interesting mathematics.

Maths Code Breaking Ciphers - Big Resource Pack

A large 50 page Code Breaking Resource pack with a big number of codes and ready made lesson handouts for enriching maths lessons. Everything from hidden pictures in binary strings to Caesar shifts and the maths behind credit card numbers. Also 2 Maths Murder Mystery Challenges! (Powerpoint made for the first murder mystery). If you like my resources then please check out the The British International School Phuket website: http://www.ibmathsresources.com for maths articles, ideas for gifted and talented students, maths videos and even a school code breaking challenge.
Now also an online code challenge available at: http://schoolcodebreaking.com - students can compete with schools around the world. Can they make the leaderboard?
By andrewchambers

Isometric Drawing

Pupils learn about plan, front and side elevations and how to draw objects on isometric paper. The worksheet has an investigation into making objects with 5 cubes, as well as some challenging questions on building objects based on their elevations, with as few cubes as possible. Please note that the questions in Section B and the 'impossible shapes to make' are not my own and have been taken from other sheets found online. I have also included a word document of isometric paper for 'emergency' use :) If you liked this resource then please check out my other resources on TES! https://www.tes.com/resources/search/?authorId=2095097
By Owen134866

Proportion and Golden Ratio - Are you beautiful?

Here is a lesson I recently taught to a bright KS3 group at the end of ratio and proportion. It begins revising sequences before introducing Fibonacci and then the golden ratio. Demos of this in nature, construction and finally the human body. The main task involves students taking measurements of faces (I include my own but have spared you that) and then finding how close the measurements are the golden ratio and therefore ranking the celebrities in order of attractiveness. SMSC - Can beauty be reduced to a ratio?
By dcp20

KS3/KS4/KS5 Maths (enrichment): Investigating graph theory and networks lesson

Full lesson on investigating graph theory and networks which is extremely derivative -- very largely based on the stupendous lesson and worksheet uploaded by @Owen134866. I have added some more scaffolding in terms of discussing vocabulary and created a support sheet so that this topic can be accessed at KS3 and above.

I have delivered this lesson successfully to mixed ability Year 7s and high ability Year 9s to date, and always really enjoy it. It's generally something I pull out towards the end of term as a treat with a view to improving students' problem-solving skills.

Extension worksheet is adapted from the Konigsberg problem entry on Wikipedia although I have not yet used it -- it might prove to be a good extension to the main lesson for A Level students.

Please do rate and review this resource -- I appreciate feedback!
By omarsmum

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