TES Maths ROTW: Maths and the migrant crisis

Craig Barton
14th December 2015

TES Maths Resource of the Week

Resource title: Maths and the migrant crisis

Resource author: Peter Mattock

What is it?

I have written and spoken many times about the struggles, and more importantly the dangers, of trying to relate all of school mathematics to the real world. However, here is a real-life scenario in which a solid understanding of mathematics, and statistics in particular, is vital.

The refugee crisis is something that has dominated the news for months, with a wide variety of figures and diagrams being thrown around. Here is an opportunity to bring this into the classroom – allowing students to work with numbers that actually mean something, while at the same time making them aware of an incredibly important subject.

How can it be used?

The three worksheets cover bar charts, pie charts and proportion. Each contains thoughtful questions that relate to a diagram or a set of figures. Because the worksheets are so well-structured, they pretty much run themselves and can be used like any worksheet.

However, there is also scope to use these as a lead-in to engage students in the subject matter as a whole. Why not spilt the class into three groups and give each group just one of the worksheets? Having completed it, get them to write down what they think are the three most important things that they feel people should know. This could then be shared with the rest of the class to encourage discussion and engagement with the issue. 


Craig Barton

Craig is a secondary maths teacher in the North of England.

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