The School Research and the So What question | Gary

As we approach the end of the academic year, school research leads will not doubt  be pulling together a programme of work for the coming year.  Inevitably,  colleagues will be putting forward a range of research questions which they hope to have included in the school’s research/inquiry agenda.  However, as harsh as it may seem the most appropriate initial response to these requests is to ask as  (Booth, Colob, Williams, J., & Fitzgerald, 2016) suggest: So What? Does this question really matter? What would happen if we didn’t answer your question?  Would it make a difference to the life…

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Ask Uncle Colin: A STEP in the right direction | Colin

Ask Uncle Colin is a chance to ask your burning, possibly embarrassing, maths questions — and to show off your skills at coming up with clever acronyms. Send your questions to and Uncle Colin will do what he can.

Dear Uncle Colin,

I’m struggling with a STEP question. Any ideas?


1. $q^2 – pr = -3k$

2. $r^2 – qp = -k$

3. $p^2 – rq = k$

Find p, q and r in terms of k.

– Simultaneous Triple Equation Problem

Hi, STEP, and thanks for your question!

This is an absolute biter that took me several attempts to get under control. The key was…

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Adults | Sam Shepherd

There are, in this world, many things which annoy me. Things that irk me. Things that get my goat, wind me up, rattle my cage and downright piss me off. Things like muttonheads in cars speeding and/or playing crap music loudly (on no level cool); things like people who just have  to check Whatsapp in the middle of a film; things like driving 4x4s in an urban setting; things like the stupid excuses people have for driving a 4×4 in an urban setting; things like the phrase “I’m not a racist but…”; things like close passes and left hooks; or things like the “Cyclists Stay back” sticker (and…

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What is the point of a video course? | admin

A number of our courses take shape in the form of a webinar or video.

Why is that?

From both anecdotal evidence and scientific research we know that information is more easily absorbed with dual coding. Put simply, dual coding means that your brain can store more information in more areas of your brain. (See this video for a great explanation).

“While traditional training tools such as lectures, documents, and PowerPoint presentations may appear to be effective at getting information across, comprehension tests show that much of that information is quickly forgotten. In contrast, video…

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A curve-sketching masterclass | Colin

An implicit differentiation question dealt with $y^4 – 2x^2 + 8xy^2 + 9 = 0$. Differentiating it is easy enough for a competent A-level student – but what does the curve look like? That requires a bit more thought.

My usual approach to sketching a function uses a structure I call DATAS:
Domain: where is the function defined?
Axes: where does the function cross them?
Turning points: where are the function’s critical points?
Asymptotes: what happens when $x$ or $y$ get really big?
Shape: what does the graph look like overall?

As it turns out, this approach is almost entirely useless…

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More area reviews? | Eddie Playfair

More area reviews of post-16 education? We’ve only just got through the last lot and that took up loads of everyone’s time for very little benefit. Surely this can’t be a serious suggestion… Well, it might not be guaranteed to lift our spirits, and some wariness, or weariness, would be understandable. But yes, we could … Continue reading More area reviews?

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