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Verulam School Homework Tracker Sheet

You are about to write a mathematical story, which must be clear, well communicated and logical. Like all good stories, it will need a beginning, a middle and an end.

At every stage:

  • Explain what you are going to do,
  • Why you are doing it,  (BECAUSE…)
  • Make a prediction about what will happen (if you can) and why you think this will happen, (BECAUSE…)
  • Show your working and your thinking,
  • Explain what has happened and why you think it happened, (BECAUSE…)
  • What you are going to try next and why you have chosen to do this, (BECAUSE…)

You may have realised by now that the most important word you could use in a mathematical investigation write-up is BECAUSE…Use it often, after every statement, if possible.

The beginning of the story – Introduction

  • What is the problem?
  • Explain the mathematical words used in the problem.

The middle of the story

  • Explain how you will start……then start!
  • Attack the problem logically, by breaking it down into simpler stages.
  • You can show your initial ideas as diagrams, drawings, mind maps……
  • Put results into a table and explain why (to look for patterns).
  • Explain that you have checked your results and considered whether they are sensible.
  • Make some predictions and test them – are they right or wrong?
  • You may want to criticise your method or presentation and go on to improve it in the next section.
  • Make general comments about what is happening – relate them back to the original problem and explain why they are happening.
  • Use symbols to explain any generalities, ensure each letter used is clearly explained.
  • Always think about the maths you have learnt……does anything come to mind that could be used to solve the problem?
  • Try researching to make your write-up fuller and more exciting…and different from anyone else’s!
  • What will you try next? Explain why.
  • Present a concise and reasoned argument.

The end of the story – the conclusion

  • A brief explanation of the initial problem.
  • What mathematics you have used.
  • What you have found out.
  • How you developed your solution.
  • What you have learnt.
  • Sum up!




Always assume your reader does not have the slightest idea about the problem, its solution (or indeed, maths).

Consider the following……

Will your reader understand…

  • What your investigation is about,
  • What you are trying to find out,
  • How you have tried to find out,
  • What you have found out?

Use this method to solve The Painted Cube problem.

Attached are sample questions and mark schemes for the upcoming year 9 exam. This exam covers GCSE content and the paper is a combined paper with Biology, Chemistry and Physics questions. Extra help for revision can be found at: pupils can access an online version of the textbook, and there are also examination style questions and revision podcasts to listen to. (They need log in details but they should have these from their teacher).

Topics for the exam are:

Biology (B1): Section 1 Keeping Healthy – Balanced diet, Pathogens, Defence Mechanisms in Humans and Vaccinations. Textbook pages: 24-46

Chemistry (C1): Section 1 Fundamental Ideas – Structure of an atom, Electronic Structure and Balancing equations. Textbook pages: 24-36

Physics (P1): Section 1 Energy Transfer by Heating – Heat transfer in solids and liquids, Surfaces and radiation and Energy transfer by design. Textbook pages: 24-44

Below is a summary of the things that all pupils need to know for the exam:


  • Know the key components of a healthy diet and what the components are needed for
  • Describe and explain the differences in diets between an athlete and a normal person
  • Describe the issues of being malnourished
  • Describe the issues with being obese
  • State what a pathogen is and how it makes us feel unwell
  • Explain the work of Ignaz Semmelweis
  • Describe how our body stops pathogens entering the body
  • Explain the role of white blood cells in fighting disease
  • Describe the difference between anti-biotics and over the counter medicines
  • Explain how to grow bacteria in a lab and the conditions we grow them in a school laboratory
  • Explain what a vaccine is and how it protects us from disease


  • Explain what elements, mixtures and compounds are
  • Describe the structure of an atom
  • State the charges on sub-atomic particles
  • Describe what the atomic number and mass number of an atom are
  • Be able to draw electron shell diagrams for the first 20 elements
  • Explain why group 0 elements are so unreactive
  • Be able to balance symbol equations


  • Describe which colour surfaces are the best emitters, relfectors & absorbers of infra-red radiation
  • Draw particles diagrams for a solid, liquid and gas and explain how to turn one form into another form using particle theory
  • Explain why metals are the best conductors of heat and why non-metals are good insulators
  • Be able to draw a convection current and explain why hot air rises
  • Describe the process of heat transfer via conduction and convection
  • Explain hiw to increase the rate of evaporation and condensation
  • Be able to design factors that affect the rate at which a hot object transfers energy
  • Be able to calculate specific heat capacity
  • Explain how to reduce heat loss in a house

Y9 – B1 1.1 Assessment

Y9 – B1 1.1 Answers

Y9 – C1 1.1 Assessment

Y9 – C1 1.1 Answers

Y9 – P1 1.1

Y9 – P1 1.1 Answers