The Core Books
The Nuffield Secondary Mathematics core books, provided stimulating investigative tasks for all students in any one year group. In their core work, students were expected to develop skills and use and apply the mathematics which they have learned in their topic work.
Each task, which was to be introduced by the teacher, is accompanied by a full teaching guide which gives ideas and suggestions for the presentation to student as well as suggestions on assessment. At the time of publishing, GCSE and parts of the National Curriculum required student to demonstrate certain thinking skills, and their ability to use initiative and discernment in solving problems.
Two extended pieces of work in the First Core are the Lead Lectures, 'Stained glass windows' and 'How other people count'. These were to provide additional stimulating and interesting events in the students' mathematics lessons. The lecture was to be given by the teacher, using the script, overhead transparencies and slides provided. The follow-up work is in the students' book.
Throughout the First and Second Cores the students were asked to solve problems, but additionally they were given the opportunity to learn various techniques, particularly some which were needed for them to record their results.
In First Core the specific techniques on which attention is focused are:
• The use of the calculator
• Listening and reading with attention and accuracy
• Recording with lists, tables and Venn diagrams
• Drawing block graphs.
The tasks in the books for the first three years in the secondary school were designed to teach a particular skill or to encourage a particular way of thinking. They were therefore rather structured. In the fourth and fifth year, students would be using their project (course) work to build up a portfolio for their GCSE or SAT assessment. It is during these years that the authors hoped the earlier training would bear fruit. It was suggested that at least an hour every week be spent on core material.
HEALTH and SAFETY
Any use of a resource that includes a practical activity must include a risk assessment. Please note that collections may contain ARCHIVE resources, which were developed at a much earlier date. Since that time there have been significant changes in the rules and guidance affecting laboratory practical work. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.