Finding your way about
The site is split into three areas, for kids, teachers and parents:
  • The pupils' area contains two mysteries, each of which contains two challenges. There are also certificates that they can print out at the end of the activities.

  • The teachers' area contains printable follow-up activities for each of the challenges together with curriculum information. The certificates are repeated here.

  • The parents' area contains information for parents who may want to use the site at home with their children. Here you will find ideas for extension activities to support the Maths Mysteries, plus the certificates.
Curriculum relevance
Maths Mysteries is written for Key Stage 2 children in England aged 7-9, and the website and worksheet activities have been designed so that children can work through them whatever their ability either individually, in pairs or in small groups.
Maths Mysteries aims to provide children with the opportunity to apply their mathematical skills to a variety of problem-solving activities in an enjoyable and challenging way. The challenges involve children in applying skills in:

  • number
  • measure
  • shape and space
  • handling data
  • using the four operations and mental maths in particular.

Click here to see how the activities link to the National Numeracy Strategy and the National Curriculum.

Links to other areas of the curriculum
Although the main emphasis in the Maths Mysteries challenges is on mathematics, other areas of the National Curriculum are also touched upon.
In particular, each of the Maths Mysteries links to the National Literacy Strategy and the National Curriculum for English. This is done through:

Reading and following instructions
Listening to instructions
Explaining reasons
Communication skills

Working co-operatively
Listening to each other
Taking turns
In addition, both of the mysteries require children to use skills in ICT.

Organising work on Maths Mysteries
Each Maths Mystery contains two activities where children can practise the maths skills outlined in the National Curriculum. The printable follow-up activities are designed to be completed after children have worked on the online activities. Answers to the activities are on a printable answer sheet.
Pre-activity teaching suggestions
Working on the following with children before the activities may help them get most out of the experience.

  • Number sequence activities including pattern and rule spotting
  • Splitting numbers into thousands, hundreds, tens and units
  • Doubling and halving numbers
  • Solving number riddles
  • Measuring lengths
  • Recognising and assembling 2-D and 3-D objects
  • Using and recognising symmetry
  • Using a database
  • Working co-operatively
Sample lesson plan
The following is a suggestion for one way you could use the site:
Monday - oral starter - Mystery 1 - plenary
Tuesday - follow-up activities from teachers' area for Mystery 1
Wednesday - oral starter - Mystery 2 - plenary
Thursday - follow-up activities from teachers' area for Mystery 2
Friday - time to catch up
Friday/weekend/following week - alert parents to the extension activities in the parents' area - provide paper copies for families without computers at home
Friday of following week - go over home (parents' area) activities in class