Category Archives: News

News items related to the ICSE, our work and activities.

Teaching Statistics Trust Textbook Bursary

The Teaching Statistics Trust has introduced a Textbook Bursary to support teachers who are enrolled on a course of professional development designed to improve their teaching of statistics and who require a textbook to support their studies.

You can download an application form on the link below. Details on how to submit this form are contained on the form itself.

Textbook Bursary Application Form

WinAtSchool Schools Competition – Ending in April

Now seems like a good time to tell all UK secondary school teachers that the 2015 WinAtSchool Maths and Stats Competition will be closing on the 30th of April.

If you have 8 or more pupils willing to test their mathematical skills and knowledge you should register your school as soon as possible. Find out how

If time is short get your pupils to take part first, you can always register after the deadline to get your results and see how your school/class have done.

WinAtSchool at the Big Bang Fair

The Big Bang Fair BirminghamWe took our maths and stats quiz to the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham at the start of March and then appeared at a handful of the regional events throughout the month.

This included a visit to North and South Wales, Sussex and Somerset.

We would like to thank all of the teachers who attended and all the pupils who took part in either the practice or prize quiz throughout all 5 events.

Big Bang Fair Competition

If you are one of the hundreds of pupils we met at the recent Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, or one of the regional Big Bang NearMe events and still wish to take part in our £20 Amazon voucher prize draw you have until the 30th April to do so.

Remember also that there is a Big Bang school prize.  Any school where 8 or more pupils take part, before the 30th, as a result of attending the Big Bang will be entered into our prize draw. You can find further details on our leaflets given out at all the Big Bang events.

Big Bang Fiar - A Team Effort

Big Bang Fair - Working it out

WinAtSchool goes Bang

Next week sees the start of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, a massive STEM event primarily targeting those aged 7 to 19. The main event will be taking place in Birmingham at the NEC between the 11th and 14th of March. During the weeks and months that follow smaller Big Bang ‘Near Me’ events will be taking place in schools and colleges across the UK.

The ICSE will be attending the main event and several of the Near Me events to promote our free mathematics and statistics schools competition WinAtSchool. Please come along and have a go at our Practice Quiz or if you are attending with Year 7 to 11 pupils take part in the Prize Competition. Why not get some practice in now.

You can view all the events going on at The Big Bang and get a full list of the Near Me locations from the main website at Our schedule throughout March is below :


Events in March

Below you can find further information on two very different, but not too so, events in March that look too good to miss, both are linked to a book. The first is ‘The Improbability Principle Why Coincidences Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day‘ on the 11th of March at Imperial College London at the South Kensington Campus the second is ‘Transitions in Undergraduate Mathematics Education‘ at the University of Birmingham at the Edgbaston Campus on the 25th of March.

The Improbability Principle Why Coincidences Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day (David Hand) – 11th March 16:00-17:30 Imperial College London

Transitions in Undergraduate Mathematics Education: Staff Development Event – 25th March 12:00-16:30 University of Birmingham


Double-Yolk Eggs

We don’t normally post school based maths and stats resources directly on the ICSE site, for them you should hop along to, but over the weekend I re-discovered a news story and NCETM resource on the probability of double-yolk eggs, after finding a double-yolk myself at breakfast sparked the memory.

An original UK news story featured in the Mail, google it if that link is outdated. You can then view the excellent NCETM resource (as a PDF) from their website (link below).

NCETM – What is the chance of getting a double-yolk egg?

The resource takes information from Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter’s blog, again you can google this if the link is outdated. The explanation also featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less, that if you do not follow you really should. The explanation would be an excellent followup to the lesson itself.


Christmas and New Year Close

The ICSE will be closed from the 24th until the 5th. In addition due to maintenance work over the Christmas holiday period all of our projects, including CensusAtSchool UK, ExperimentsAtSchool, WinAtSchool, DISCUSS and the Problem Solving Cycle will be offline from the evening of the 28th until the evening of the 5th.

For most of our projects you will be able to download and save the resources you require in advance, the only exception to this will be the Questionnaires and Quizzes.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Statistical Modeller – Plymouth UK

Plymouth University in cooperation with Intelligent Optimisations (@iopowertolearn) is advertising a vacancy for a Statistical Modeller, this role will involve collaboration with Plymouth University and the successful candidate would be required to liaise with researchers in the School of Computing and Mathematics on a regular basis.

You can find all the details at, the post closes on the 14th of December.






Data to Insight – MOOC with FREE access

There is still time to signup to the FutureLearn Data to Insight MOOC. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to start an introduction to data handling.

The course is being facilitated by the Department of Statistics at The University of Auckland, New Zealand, below you can find a brief introduction from Professor Chris Wild who is based in the department and is the lead educator for Data to Insight.

Note that while the educators and facilitators are based in New Zealand the FutureLearn MOOC is based in the UK where most of the content is hosted.

With the world of data (big and otherwise) growing explosively, statistics education has to find ways to get much further, much faster.

By agreeing to produce a statistics MOOC, my university has given me the space and technical support to produce a prototype for introductory statistics that takes up the challenge of finding ways for getting much further into data much faster. The course, called “Data to Insight” launched on the UK’s FutureLearn platform 10 days ago.

Course Details

Most of the content is delivered in 42 five-minute videos. The course has a 8-week, “3 hours a week” structure and each week features just 30-minutes of instructional video. Within a few days, students are launched into a 10,000-observation, 70-variable dataset derived from a large observational health study (NHANES) and a dataset derived from Gapminder using 30 country-level indicators of over the last 50 years.

There are a large number of new ideas and approaches prototyped in this course and one of the main audiences I want to reach with them is other tertiary (university and college) teachers of statistics and research methods.

To make it easy for you to see quickly what has been done and how, I’ve made a combined course outline/index page which lets you bypass the normal course layout and jump right to particular movies.

Access to the resources can be secured up until 30 November so start the course soon, here:

Chris Wild, Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

CensusAtSchool 2014/2015 Questionnaire Live

The ICSE this week launches the 2014-2015 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire. If you are a teacher based in the UK why not take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources to help improve mathematics, statistics and data handling in your school.

Getting Started

Want to try it out before you use the resource with your class? Follow these simple steps:

Want to know more…read on.

What is CensusAtSchool

Initially, when conceived in 1999 CensusAtSchool was run in cooperation with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which is responsible for the adult census. The aim was for each school class to be used as an illustrative population for a census. The same principles apply to the class as to the general population. As they were collected, data was added to a national database.

CensusAtSchool now produces a new survey every year for school aged learners to complete, that contains between 10 and 20 questions divided into categories – about the children themselves, their households and their schools. The distribution of questionnaires, the receipt of summary spreadsheets of the returns, cross-curricular worksheets for use in the classroom and the national database of pupils’ responses are all administered online.

It’s all about data handling

CensusAtSchool provides the opportunity to collect real data that excites an individual to investigate and enquire further, this is especially true when it is personal data that brings to life a story one has a personal connection with. Every academic year a new online survey is produced for 11-16 year old children that allows them to collect their real data via some core questions and a series of topical or themed questions.

The planning and collection of data by pupils has obvious long-lasting effects, multiple subjects are incorporated and topic boundaries crossed while integrating ICT and data handling that has real benefits throughout many curriculum activities, this is amplified further when data is analysed, discussed and disseminated.

You can visit the site at Did we mention we have internationalpartners running the project in New Zealand, the USA, Ireland, Korea and Japan? Take a look here.

Plymouth SciTech Showcase

This week saw the ICSE taking part in the Plymouth University #SciTech Showcase 2014.

The activity day provides an opportunity for school aged learners to visit the campus and see the technical innovation taking place at the university and the sort of career paths that are possible for future graduates.

Giant bubbles, Origami, Puzzles, Computer Security, Computer Games, Robots all on show at #SciTech 2014.

This event included everything from chemistry experiments and dinosaurs to computer games and robots. Maths and Stats were represented by our colleagues from the School of Computing and Mathematics, with their #MathBubble, Code Breaking and some impressive origami, while we provided a sample of our #WinAtSchool competition using an Audience Response System.

We would like to thank all the student ambassadors who helped out with the #WinAtSchool quiz and the PGCSE students from the Institute of Education who ably demonstrated their paper folding skills.

The #WinAtSchool Maths and Stats Quiz Competition for schools goes live on the 3rd of November, visit the website for more information

Showcase site