Category: Numeracy and Maths

Assessing Numeracy and Maths with Forms

Forms can be used to create Quizzes (which allow assessment and feedback) or Forms (which collect information, such as evaluations). They can contain text, images and videos, which makes them engaging and accessible to more learners. A Quiz can also be set with correct answers and this will automatically assess and provide feedback to learners, which is ideal for metacognition. They are easy to duplicate and share between staff which can support moderation, ensure assessment is proportional and comparable between classes or levels.

Webinar catch up: Technology Tools for Complex Needs with CALL Scotland.

This webinar was delivered by Claire Harrison from CALL Scotland, for education staff who are supporting learners with Complex Needs within an early years/primary context, on 20th April 2021.

This session demonstrated how simple to use, free digital tools can be used to create activities for learning and communication. We explored how these tools can be used to create learning experiences which support the development of Anticipation, Early Communication, Cause & Effect and Emergent Literacy & Numeracy. All of the digital tools covered are free to use and easy to share with families.

The technology tools covered in this session included TarHeel Gameplay, Google Slides/PowerPoint, Google Forms/Microsoft Forms, Google Jamboard and Thinglink.

You can access a PDF version of the slides here:



5. Assessment within Numeracy and Mathematics

There are a number of virtual whiteboard/notebook tools within Glow and these are useful tools for learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding – making them effective assessment opportunities.


This is an example of how O365 OneNote could be used with learners to demonstrate their understanding of number, using virtual manipulatives and annotating their thinking on their whiteboard.

We delivered this workshop on how to transfer Concrete Pictorial Abstract numeracy and maths teaching practice to the online environment. CPA can be supported effectively with interactive manipulatives and whiteboard/notebook tools.

O365 also has another dedicated whiteboard tool, separate from OneNote, and this can be used in Teams calls to share thinking and understanding. The whiteboards are automatically saved in your OneDrive and can be edited and annotated to provide feedback to learners.

Book Creator is a platform external to Glow but can be effective for capturing learners’ thinking and allows them to create a meaningful end product to showcase their learning. However, it can be added to in an ongoing basis which makes it effective for formative assessment.

Quick Wins for Maths: Barefoot Computing

BT and Barefoot Computing provide free resources for teaching computational thinking. You can register for free at Barefoot Computing and use these great resources to add exciting new contexts to your numeracy and maths.

Code Cracking

This resource focuses on the role Alan Turing and the Enigma machine played in deciphering coded messages during World War II. Why not use this as a context for maths during your WWII topic?

Code Cracking lesson


Want to see more about code cracking?

Check out our Cryptography wakelet

Quick Wins for Maths:

There is so much maths in computing and that presents excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Why not plan to introduce directional language through these engaging challenges form Learners simply drag blocks of ‘code’ together like jigsaw pieces to solve mathematical puzzles. There’s help videos and hints for each challenge and even an educator section to support you teaching it.

Here are some great places to start your maths/coding adventure:

Pre-reader challenges – Ice Age

The Ice Age-themed ‘pre-reader’ challenges only ask learners to use one or two blocks of code at a time and the directions are represented by arrows, so they can start to code without needing to read.

Play it

Introducing directional words – Star Wars

This Star Wars-themed challenge introduces the use of directional words on screen. So as your learners develop confidence with directional language, they can try more challenging code too.

Play it


Exploring degrees – Frozen

This Frozen-themed challenge introduces the use of degrees and angles to control the characters on screen.

Play it

Quick Wins for Numeracy: CPA online

Quick Wins for Numeracy, January 2021

We delivered a workshop on the use of mathsbot virtual manipulatives and Google Jamboard to develop learners’ numeracy understanding. Using these tools allows you learners to model their thinking with a range of manipulatives that they might use in class. Jamboard, or OneNote in O365, act as a virtual whiteboard where learners can use ink, photos, and a range of other tools to show their thinking, collaborate with peers and access teacher feedback online.


This short tutorial video demonstrates how to use Windows Snipping Tool with Mathsbot manipulatives to create graphics for Jamboard, OneNote or Forms quizzes:

27 Jan, 1600 – Quick and Easy Numeracy Wins for Online Learning

Quick and Easy Numeracy Wins for Online Learning

Wednesday 27th January 2021 4pm


This webinar will explore some quick and useful strategies for teaching numeracy in and out of the classroom. It will also focus on digital tools to support you deliver this learning during the current online learnign phase. A Glow login is required for this session.

presentation slides

10 Blended Numeracy & Maths Activities Using O365

This webinar recording is aimed at teachers, primarily in the Primary sector, but could be adapted to the Secondary Numeracy & Maths classroom. The aim of the session is to demonstrate ideas for delivering and assessing Numeracy & Maths in a blended approach using digital tools available in Microsoft O365 on Glow.  Delivered in partnership with the Education Scotland Maths officers,

Bebras Computing Challenge at Portlethen Academy

post by Ian Simpson (@familysimpson), Faculty Head of ICT at Portlethen Academy (@portyacad)


What is the Bebras Computing Challenge?

The Bebras Computing Challenge is a long-running international competition which promotes the importance of computational thinking and problem solving skills in a wider world context. It is organised in over 50 countries and designed to get students aged 6 to 18 from all over the world excited about computing.

Students have to employ a variety of problem-solving strategies in order to complete up to 18 challenges in the allotted time. High scoring students may be lucky enough to qualify for a celebration event which, in previous years, has taken place at Hertford College, Oxford.


Why we entered the competition

At Portlethen Academy all S1-3 students take part in the competition, with those in senior phase given the chance to participate as part of their Computing Science or Mathematics classes. Every individual who takes part receives a digital certificate from the University of Oxford which can be printed out in school or at home and those who achieve scores in the top 25% of the cohort are invited to take part in the TCSOCC Challenge in February as recognition of their strong computational thinking skills and to increase their exposure to computer programming problems.

Faculty Head of ICT Ian Simpson has coached groups of students to take part in the Bebras Computing Challenge since 2013. “To get the best out of the groups it shouldn’t be an add on or break from ‘normal lessons’, it is in the school’s best interest to embed teaching of computational thinking skills and prepare for the challenge using the practice challenges or the Perfect Day app.”


What pupils learnt from it

Seven students from S1 and 2 scored highly enough in the 2019 challenge to receive an invitation to the celebration event at Hertford College in January 2020. Thanks to support from contacts at Total and Aberdeenshire DYW six were able to travel to Oxford to take part in the final round, experience Computing Science sample lectures and find out more about life as a student at the University of Oxford. Ian Simpson added “This was the first time that such a high number of students from a state school in Aberdeenshire had qualified for the final round. It was a surprise in some ways but testament to the hard work the students put in preparing for the challenge.”

As well as giving students the chance to think creatively and apply their knowledge from across a variety of subject areas the Bebras Computing Challenge helps build student resilience. These skills have increasing demand in further and higher education and will serve them well in the workplace of the future. Taking part in the final round also gave the students increased confidence in their own abilities and, on the drive back to Heathrow, many were sharing strategies they had learned from other participants to improve on their scores next year.


Sign up for Bebras here.