Primary Primary Maths

Applying maths to the real world

The activities this month are aimed at helping children see the application of mathematics in the real world, while at the same time discovering things about some different parts of the world.

Key Stage 1

A Rangoli is an Indian design often used to decorate floors near the entrance to homes to welcome guests. They are traditionally drawn using rice grains, flour, sand or chalk. Here are some:






  • What patterns do you notice?
  • Is there anything symmetrical about these patterns? What makes them symmetrical?
  • Design your own Rangoli similar to those above.
  • Try designing a Rangoli that uses colour. Can you make your design symmetrical?


Lower Key Stage 2

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from Monday 25th February, 2013 to Sunday 10th March, 2013. Fairtrade aims to help farmers and workers in developing countries achieve better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade. Sixty percent of the Fairtrade market involves food products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, honey, and bananas. Non-food commodities include crafts, textiles and flowers.

Fairtrade products can often be identified by this symbol:





  • Visit your local superstore and investigate differences in the Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade prices of each of these products: coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, honey and bananas.
  • Over 3,000 products are Fairtrade certified. What other Fairtrade products can you find in your local superstore? How do these prices compare with non- Fairtrade prices?
  • Which countries do Fairtrade products tend to come from?


For further information and activities about Fairtrade Fortnight go to

Upper Key Stage 2

On January 26, India celebrated Republic Day, which honours the date the constitution of India came into force in 1950.  Also on January 26, Australia celebrated Australia Day, which commemorates the arrival of the first fleet at Sydney Cove in New South Wales in 1788.

The chart below shows the price of different food products in India (Hyderabad) and Australia (Sydney) in February, 2013.

Price Comparisons

  • To compare the price of these products we need to convert the cost of each product to the same currency.
    What is the exchange rate of the India rupee (INR – ₹ or Rs.) to the British pound (GBP – £)?
    What is the exchange rate of the Australian dollar (AUD – $) to the British pound (GBP – £)?
    What is the cost in GBPs (£) of each of the food products purchased in India?
    What is the cost in GBPs (£) of each of the food products purchased in Australia?
  • Investigate what each of the food products costs in the UK.
    How does the cost of the food products purchased in India and Australia compare with their cost in the UK?
  • What conclusions can you make about the cost of these food products in India, Australia and the UK?


Peter Clarke
 Series editor, Collins New Primary Maths

Why not also try out Belair’s Rangoli Pattern crafty ideas

Collins Primary

Collins Primary is the home of innovative learning resources for all stages of primary and early years education. We support thousands of teachers and pupils who are using our award-winning materials every day, and provide what you need to enhance the learning experience with our easy to use and flexible programmes.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

Leave a Comment