Functional Maths - problem solving

Although underpinning knowledge is tested in its own right, problem solving is a core element of Functional Skills mathematics yet should not obscure or add additional mathematical complexity beyond the level of the qualification. Defining problem solving is a challenge but the attributes below are helpful. Not all (in fact often just one) of the listed attributes must be present in a single task for it to be considered to be problem-solving.

  • Tasks that have little or no scaffolding: there is little guidance given to the student beyond a start point and a finish point. Questions do not explicitly state the mathematical process(es) required for the solution.
  • Tasks that provide for multiple representations, such as use of a sketch or a diagram as well as calculations.
  •  The information is not given in mathematical form or in mathematical language; or there is a need for the results to be interpreted or methods evaluated, for example, in a real-world context.
  •  Tasks have a variety of techniques that could be used.
  •  The solution requires understanding of the processes involved rather than just application of the techniques.


This is a resource I've designed to be a homework/classwork support for L1 Functional Skills maths (reform).

Editor's notes

A wonderful 104-page compilation of resources covering almost every aspect of Level 1 Reformed Functional Maths. With curriculum mapping and links to further resources. Note this project includes resources from many excellent free web sites - please read the notes on the front cover sheet and page 104 for further information. 

Level 1
FM Context free underpinning
FM Contextualised underpinning
Functional Maths - problem solving
Functional Maths - numbers and the number system
Functional Maths - measures, shape & space
Functional Maths - handling information and data
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