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One Metre Rule Area Factor

Wednesday 1st July 2020

June has turned into July and the summer holidays (for some) are upon us. Here are some ideas for End of Term Activities and Holiday Activities you may find useful.

For this month's puzzle I have chosen a riddle I heard on the radio:

What is my name?

Five hundred is at my end and at my start.

The number five is at my heart.

The first letter is second to appear,

But the first number completes me clear.

The answer will be at the end of this newsletter but while you think about it here is a ‘heads up’ on the new items added to your Transum online resource collection last month.

Pythagoras Coordinates is another online exercise suggested by one of you hard working teachers. I have included it as level 4 in the set of Pythagoras exercises and I hope you find it useful.

Pythagoras Coordinates

Two new videos have been created on multiplication and division. They introduce a cartoon character who does the narration as a change from me. Pupils are encouraged to be creative in the way they watch these videos so they meet their learning needs. Play them at double speed or half speed as necessary and only view the level required by first selecting that level in the online exercise (Basic Multiplication or Basic Division) then opening the Help tab, the video will be cued at the right place.

In addition, help videos on Percentage ChangeSubstitution and Arithmetic Sequences were created in June confirming that I’ve kept to my weekly schedule. I hope they will be of use to pupils doing the Transum exercises in isolation with little or no immediate support.

Animated Calculator

As a by-product of the video creation process an Animated Calculator and a Substitution Examples visual aid are now available for you to use in your classroom teaching or during your online lessons. Hopefully you’ll agree they allow for really clear illustrated explanations of basic concepts.

I am honoured to report that Transum Mathematics won Corporate Vision magazine's Education and Training Award for Most Engaging Mathematics Teaching Resource 2020.

Education Award

At the time of writing this newsletter the UK Government were relaxing the two metre rule. This is the distance that people should stay apart to remain safe from transmission of the coronavirus while allowing more normal activities to take place. As a Maths teacher my ears pricked up every time I heard this being discussed on the radio or TV. Two metres is of course twice as much as one metre but we know that for many situations it is the area around a person that is the important measurement. You are probably one step ahead of me now (figuratively not literally) and are thinking of the learning objective "pupils should be taught to compare lengths, areas and volumes using scale factors". As every Year 11 pupil will know, if the scale factor is two, the area factor is two squared. So the two metre rule requires four times as much area as the one metre rule and that is why this change is going to make so much difference to the way restaurants, cinemas and sports venues can operate.

I heard this topic being discussed on the BBC’s “More or Less: Behind the Stats” podcast. Tim Harford explored how we can avoid the coronavirus infection spreading, while getting on with life. During the podcast he interviewed David Payton, professor of Industrial Economics at the University of Nottingham and I have included an excerpt of their conversation on the podcast version of this newsletter.

A final observation regarding this pandemic situation is that I heard yesterday that many Year 12 International Baccalaureate students are collecting the easily available statistics for use in their Internal Assessment explorations. I wonder what conclusions they will reach?

Now if a different type of virus or bug knocks offline don’t let your lessons suffer. There are two mirror sites that contain 95% of the resources. They are and Keep them up your sleeve for a rainy day to mix two unrelated, well-worn and time-honoured sayings! 

Finally the answer to this month’s puzzle (riddle) is David:

That’s all for now, keep in touch and stay happy and safe,


P.S. I poured root beer into a square glass. Now I just have beer.


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