The maths activity day was organised and run for the children by Balfour Beatty and its linked operating companies BBCL, BBCap and BBW alongside school staff. The children took part in all activities throughout the day

Activity One – Building a timber planting bed

The children had to calculate the cost of creating a raised planting bed using timber sleepers. The finished planter had to be 2.9m long, 1m wide and 375mm high and the children had to include the cost of a liner for the raised bed, and topsoil.

Activity Two – Menu for  School Lunch

The children had to consider the cost of providing school lunch for a class of 30 primary school pupils.

The original menu was cheese and tomato pizza, with salad vegetables for the main course, and apple crumble with custard for dessert.

  • One pizza serves 6 pupils and costs £2.40
  • One bag of salad vegetables serves 10 pupils and costs £1.00
  • One apple crumble serves 6 pupils and costs £1.80
  • 1 litre of custard serves 10 pupils and costs 50p

The children had to think about changing the ingredients of the meal.

If they were to add ham or tuna to the pizza, the cost of each pizza would increases to £2.70

If they replace the salad vegetables with raw vegetable sticks, it would cost £1.20 to serve 10 pupils

The children had to keep the apple crumble, but serve ice cream instead of custard, and this would costs 75p to serve 15 pupils.

Activity Three – Calculating the floor space of a room.

The children were provided with a floor layout plan for a complicated room shape and they had to calculate the overall floor space in the room.

Activity Four  – Planning a dining hall

The children were provided with a floor layout plan of a rectangular dining hall for a primary school which has 120 pupils. The pupils have their lunch break over 3 ‘sittings’. The children had to select which dining furniture they wanted to use in the dining hall, to provide chairs and tables for 40 pupils.

The children had to observe some rules when planning their dining hall:

  1. The room is sometimes used for other purposes, so the tables need to fold flat and the chairs must be stacked 4 high.
  2. They had to ensure there was room for a wheelchair to move easily between the tables when the dining room was in use.
  3. They must not place tables or chairs in the space required to open the doors into the room (the doors are marked on the floor plan)
  4. They must include a litter bin for every 20 pupils who are using the dining hall.

Activity Five – Designing a courtyard garden

The children had to design a courtyard garden for a school, and manage a budget of £1,000.

The garden had to be one of the following:

  1. Sensory garden with plants which have interesting textures, shapes and scents
  2. Colour garden with plants which provide colour right through the year
  3. An evergreen garden which requires low maintenance
  4. An allotment garden with vegetables, herbs and fruits

Whichever garden they chose, the children had to include all of the following compulsory elements:

  • A water feature or a sculpture from the catalogue provided
  • Plants which match your choice of garden
  • A seat from the catalogue provided
  • A raised bed which is accessible for people in wheelchairs
  • Your choice of path surface from the catalogue

At the end of the day each group had to present their design for a courtyard garden to a panel of staff and explain which garden they had chosen and why.