A Level Maths

We were over the moon to welcome a number of visitors to Room 13 recently and to share our work with them. We had visitors from Windsor, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

The engineheads met with the visitors to talk about SOLE from their perspective.


We had two sessions programmed. One was a Time4Success Tutor enquiry “is the future already set? and the other was a Maths year 10 class who had decided to try something different and explore a higher A level Maths question!

The Maths question was a tricky one. Head of Maths, Claire Middleton, had found a question which she would be surprised if the high ability set in Year 10 would be able to answer. We had a great discussion about what else we might get from this session but were very keen to see what happened. We were keen to try and see what happened when you asked a more challenging question, and although not a traditional big question in the regular sense, nonetheless, an interesting idea to explore.

The question was

A curve has equation

x^2+2xy-3y^2+16= 0

Find the coordinates of the points on the curve
where dy/dx=0

The results were fascinating. The group had worked out that the coordinates were at the turning point of the curve and had worked out how to answer the question and also explained how they’d worked it out.  One group said that didn’t understand all of it but they think they would have got there with each other and the internet if they’d had a bit longer.

The teacher was delighted with the results.

I’m looking forward to doing a little more of this and investigating how SOLEs can help students who perhaps wouldn’t usually be able to tackle these GCSE, A Level and University questions understand and explore the meaning and the possible answers.

Why is the sun so hot? 

This was the question Trinity and Amy from Byerley Park Primary came up with when we chatted at our Art Club at Greenfield Arts before their class came to do a SOLE session later that week. 

They were excited to be coming to Room 13 again (there fourth visit recently!) and were telling me about their forthcoming visit. They started coming up with questions they could explore with their class. 

Some of the questions included: 

Why is nature sometimes called Mother Nature?

Who said the first word?

Who discovered the first potato?

Why do we have colour? 

We decided that ‘Why is the sun so hot?’ was the question they wanted to try later that week. 

The session was great and the class had so many fascinating things they’d discovered and even more exciting for me they kept asking further questions which I hope they are inspired to continue to explore.

They just kept thinking. I love that.

I really enjoy working with Byerley Park. They are SOLE Superstars!! 

Is knowledge power?

I really enjoyed a SOLE session recently exploring the question ‘Is Knowledge Power?’

The session was with year 5 students from St Francis. They had not experienced a SOLE before but got really stuck in. 

The results were fantastic. 

The discussion included: 

‘Is knowledge the same as understanding?’ One group gave a definition of knowledge. Facts and familiarity with something. They explained that it’s about what you do with the information you have that matters.

‘Do we need to know if we can find out?’ The group explained that you keep learning over time so you don’t ever have all the knowledge. It doesn’t stop till you die.

‘Don’t underestimate kids they have more knowledge and can work things out more than adults realise.’ 

‘Knowledge is power because the Internet said 63% of the country said it was so I agree with that’.

‘Sometimes I use my imagination or work with others to find things out, it helps you get on and do more’.

They said ‘knowledge can be used against people who don’t know as much and can make people fall out. You could give your opinion too much if you know everything and tell people what to do. Knowledge and power is not always used for good.’

‘You have knowledge because of experience you have. It helps you make decisions. You need to know things to make good decisions.’