About Bowland Maths
Welcome to the Bowland Maths website. Here you will find a collection of free resources to support rich problem-solving activities in secondary school maths, including classroom material, assessment tasks and professional development resources. The material is aimed at Key Stage 3, the first years of secondary school in England, but can be adapted for a wide range of ages and abilities.
Bowland Maths began in 2006 to address the concern that pupils were losing interest in mathematics at the start of secondary school, with the aim of promoting context-rich problem solving that pupils would find fun. The first collection of material was released in 2008 after two years of development, with a DVD made freely available to all English schools. The assessment tasks and related PD were released in 2010 and 8 new classroom projects were added in 2012. The website was completely re-designed in 2014.
All of the Bowland Maths materials can be downloaded from this website and they are free for non-commercial educational use.
The Classroom Projects – called Case Studies after the problems set to students in institutions such as Harvard Business School – each take 3 or more lessons to complete. These are the best way to get pupils engaged in rich, extended problem solving activities set in a diversity of real-life and fantasy contexts. A guide to choosing a suitable project is available here.
Or, you could start by browsing one of the video-led Professional development modules. Each module focuses on one of the pedagogical challenges of using context-rich problem solving in the classroom, and includes several short, one-lesson activities, along with suggested lesson plans, for you to try in your own classroom.
Another good starting point - if you don't want to start with a long project - are the Assessment Tasks which are nothing like traditional tests and also provide rich problem-solving experiences for students.
In the About Bowland Maths section you will find more information on:
- The Story & rationale of Bowland Maths
- How Bowland Maths relates to the new National Curriculum
- How to choose a classroom project – summarising the key activity types, subject content and practicalities for each Case Study
- Assessment using Bowland materials – including the assessment tasks, PD on assessment and other resources
- The Creative Team – crediting the many people and organisations behind the design of Bowland Maths
- FAQ & Technical Issues – if you have questions or technical issues
There is also a contact form should you wish to send questions or comments to the Bowland team. Please bear in mind that this project has no ongoing funding, so maintenance and support is limited.
For UK teachers, there is a Community forum for Bowland Maths on the NCETM website. We have considered a dedicated Bowland forum but are unsure of the demand. Let us know if you would find that useful (but remember, a lively forum would depend on your contributions!)