10th January 2023

The Big Ask Data Challenge for Key Stage 3 and 4 students

In April 2021, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, launched The Big Ask: a national consultation exercise with children in England to ask them about their lives and their priorities, their aspirations and worries for the future. The Big Ask ran for approximately 6 weeks and gathered more than 550,000 responses, making it the largest ever survey of children anywhere in the world, to our knowledge.

In Maths Week England the Children’s Commissioner launched The Big Ask Maths Week Challenge which is open for submissions until May 10th 2023.

This is an opportunity for young people to learn about what other young people told us about their wellbeing and future priorities, using real data from The Big Ask and drawing on elements of key stage 3 and 4 maths curriculum.

There are two options for completing The Big Ask Maths Week Challenge. With access to a computer, we’d recommend completing the spreadsheet challenge, where you can create a summary table and chart using 1,000 randomly selected observations from The Big Ask. Without access to a computer, we’d recommend completing the printable worksheet.

We are encouraging young people to share the chart they create with a description for a chance to be featured on the Children’s Commissioner’s website and social media. All children and young people who submit a chart will receive a certificate for their participation in the challenge. The winner and runners-up will also be invited to participate in a meeting with the Children’s Commissioner’s team to share why they chose specific views from The Big Ask to share and their thoughts on maths in school.

On our maths page we share the two versions of the challenge. We will share the winner and runners up on National Numeracy Day, 18th May 2023.

In addition to the maths challenge we have developed ‘Where can I go with maths?’, a resource for young people that profiles role models who use maths or maths skills in their work and helps connect the KS3 maths curriculum with careers, skills and everyday life.

We will be releasing another update of the resource for National Numeracy Day 2023 and would love to share the profiles of anyone interested but we would also like to build specific areas:

  • We would like to increase the amount of role models from different career pathways, for example people who have done apprenticeships.
  • We welcome profiles from people of all backgrounds. It’s important that young people can recognise themselves within the resource and feel that the careers are for ‘people like me’.
  • We’d also like to share more profiles from people working in careers such as dentistry, English and the creative and hospitality industries.

If you’d like to share your profile please fill out this short form which asks about how you use maths or maths skills in your career and life more generally, what sparked your interest in maths and/or your career and for you to share any career advice you might have for young people. Please also share with your networks and with anyone you think would make a great role model!