Maths skills are consolidated and enhanced when pupils have opportunities to apply and develop them across the curriculum. Poor maths skills hold back pupils' progress and can lower their self-esteem. Improving these skills can be tackled on a whole school basis by ensuring mathematical skills are used across the curriculum so that pupils become confident at tackling maths in any context.
Art & Design and Maths
Many works of art can be either created or appreciated by young mathematicians:
- Symmetrical art can be analysed and the number of lines of symmetry can be found. Also, the order of rotational symmetry can be studied.
- Ratio is used to mix paints. For example, to make purple, you mix 3 parts red to 7 parts blue.
- Many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the Golden Ratio believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. This is sometimes given in the form of the Golden Rectangle in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter side is the golden ratio.
- Perspective can be used to show enlargement of shapes on square paper.
- Lots of different tesselations can be found in Escher drawings.
- Works of art from the Cubism era of the 20th century link to nets and 3D shapes.
- Introduce Dürer's Magic Square from the Melancholia engraving.
- You could also explore the Art through mathematics section on the NCETM website.
English and Maths
Conveying mathematical ideas is an important aspect of Maths. Here are some ways that links can be made between Literacy and Maths.
- Spelling mathematical vocabulary correctly and using it in the correct context.
- Mastery of maths is advanced by children being able to explain their mathematical thinking to others and to justify methods and conclusions.
- English skills can be used to clearly interpret and discuss results you get from collecting data in maths lessons.
- Finding the average length of a sentence or word count for a page.
- Writing instructions or making a video (speaking and listening) of a mathematical process.
- Using inference skills to work out what is being asked for in a word problem.
- Using a maths dictionary to find information or as part of a guided reading session.
- Solving comprehension questions from maths comprehension cards.
Design & Technology and Maths
Maths is really useful in many aspects of Design and Technology, such as:
- Reading Scales.
- Measuring ingredients and working out proportions.
- Using ratios in recipes.
- Being able to measure things accurately is an important skill in both D&T and mathematics.
- Estimation is also important when working out quantities of raw materials.
Geography and Maths
From statistics to maps, Maths is also important in Geography:
- Collecting and representing data from field trips or for weather investigations.
- Grid references and coordinates.
- Using scales on Ordnance Survey maps to establish the correct distance between two points.
- Google Maths Maps can be used to bring Geography and Maths skills together.
- Timezones can be used when teaching time.
Computing and Maths
Maths and Computing have always been linked together as Computing relies heavily on Maths for many areas:
- Angles and direction which can be drawn and measured using floor robots and apps too.
- Information can be represented in Excel and calculations using formula can be done on the data here too.
- Logic is used in programming as is problem solving.
- Collaboration is important too when working on computational aspects of Maths.
- Scratch Maths allows children to use their mathematical skills to program computers.
Foreign Languages and Maths
How can I teach maths in French lessons I hear you ask?
- Numbers can be used to do sums or times tables in French or Spanish.
- Asking what time it is in another language: Quelle heur est-il?
Music and Maths
Music can be used in mathematics lessons for making up songs about basic facts or clapping, however it maths can also be used in music lessons:
- Time and speed can be represented by tempo which is the number of beats per minute (BPM).
- Equivalent fractions can be shown using musical notation where a different type of note is worth a different fraction of a whole beat.
History and Maths
Dates are the key here when looking at how we can use maths in history lessons:
- Historical timelines can be used as a basis for finding the difference in dates.
- Historical dates can also be utilised for sequencing events.
- Charts and graphs can provide extremely useful historical information which children can analyse.
Physical Education and Maths
You can use PE in your maths lessons for kids to get active and to make maths more fun. What about using maths in your PE lessons:
- Maths Races can be played to allow the children to compete against each other whilst demonstrating mathematical knowledge.i
- Time, distance and speed of races can be incorporated into Maths sessions to enable children to work out averages and convert between different measures.
- Data can be collected and analysed to assess performances.
- As in Geography, maths skills are needed when orienteering using grid references, angles and direction.
- Averages (Mean, Mode and Median) can be used to assess and athlete’s performance.
- Plan Sports Day!
- Create sequences for gymnastics.
- Create a treasure hunt around the school based on mathematical questions.
- Discuss symmetry on the football pitch or netball court.
PSHE and Maths
Maths is all around us and what better way to show this than in PSHE?
- Numbers come up in conversations in everyday life all the time. For example, about 1/10 of the population is left handed or about 6% of Britain’s population is gay or lesbian. Children need to understand these mathematical concepts to go on to comprehend what is being said.
- Mathematics can be used to help understand other cultures. For example, the Babylonians divided the day into 24 hours, each hour into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds. Or the Ancient Egyptians worked out that the year was 365 days long and used this for their calendar.
- Probability, risk and chance can be incorporated into PSHE and Citizenship. For example, what's the risk of catching the common cold?
- Interpreting charts and data from charities.
- Symmetry/height of religious buildings.
- Problem solving.
Science and Maths
As part of STEM in secondary school, maths and science are tightly linked together: Almost every scientific investigation is likely to require one or more of the mathematical skills of classifying, counting, measuring, calculating, estimating, and recording in tables or in graphs. Algebra is useful when using formulas in Science. Converting between metric units and between imperial and metric units. Data handling is used extensively in Science. Most charts and graphs that are used in science are also used in maths.
All too often we ignore the creative aspects of mathematics in our classroom teaching and focus on routine exercises and the repetition of procedures. Linking maths into other subjects makes it much more interesting and enables children to understand that maths is all around us in our daily life.