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House of Maths School Workshops Primary & Secondary in Dorset & South - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Reception can have their own show / workshop if time permits, or can be included in a show with Year 1 or with Years 1&2. Towards the start of the Academic Year when Reception are particularly young, they can if you prefer stay for just the first half of a Year 1&2 show.

Yes! I have three different shows/workshops (one for each school term) tailor-made for ages 3-5. Preschool visits are hands-on and include large colourful props and numbers, counting forwards and backwards, corners, sides, “flat” and “solid” shapes, tesselations, patterns, up down left right front back heavy light, shape sorting, plus meet Charlie the Maths Cat who lives in a cube. Here’s a link to one of my regular Nurseries in Dorset to see what a visit looks like.

Barney tutors maths at A-level and up to University level alongside running the House Of Maths, so you can be assured that a Secondary School Visit will include enough challenging maths for even the most able Year 7 or 8 student! Shows include strong links to the national curriculum, including algebra, geometrical techniques, and magic tricks with numbers; workshops include using dice to look at probability (with a look ahead to the Normal Distribution) and vertex notation for 3D shapes. Barney also works regularly with the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (formerly the FMSP) delivering maths talks to KS3 to encourage further take up of double maths at A-level, and with the Royal Institution delivering workshops and talks to schools.

“Shows” are for up to 250 students at a time and usually take place in your main Hall, whereas “workshops” are for one class size of up to 32 students at a time so can if you prefer take place in a classroom. Shows feature a good deal of involvement from the students, whereas workshops are completely interactive, with every student doing the maths hands-on themselves. Click on Shows or Workshops for more details.

You choose! Shows typically last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes each (example of a typical day’s schedule later on this page). Workshops typically last between 25 to 60 mins depending on your requirements, but can be longer if time permits.

I usually aim to cater for your entire school (Primary) or your entire Key Stage 3 (Secondary) in a one-day visit. Shows can cater for 200 or more students at a time – with the help of a microphone and PA which I provide. Please see a later question for typical schedules.

If you have three or more classes in each Year Group then you may prefer me to perform separate House Of Maths shows for each Year group (rather than for two Year groups at a time). If this is the case then a 2-day visit might be needed for me to see an entire Primary School (Years Reception to 6), or a one-day visit will enable me to focus on a few chosen year groups.

For Infant Schools (Reception – Year 2) a half-day session can suffice, and is priced accordingly (please phone or email for prices). For First (Years R-4) or Junior (Years 3-6) Schools, a combination of two shows in the morning and then one or two workshops in the afternoon works well. If you are a one-form-entry Primary School then you may prefer me to run up to seven (or an introductory assembly plus six) fully-interactive workshops during the day, each for one class of up to 32 students. Please do phone or email to discuss your individual requirements.

SHOWS: My most popular format for Primary Schools is one 45 and two 60 minute shows, often roughly as follows:

  • 9.20 – 10.05am Show for Reception, Years 1 & 2.
  • 10.30 – 11.30am Show for Years 4 & 5
  • 1.30 – 2.30pm Show for Years 5 & 6.

Four 40 minute shows (three before and one after lunch) is another possible format, especially for larger Primary schools, or for Private Schools going from Reception up to Year 8.

WORKSHOPS: I can fit up to six (or occasionally seven) half hour workshops into each school day, or fewer longer workshops. The time I can spend running the workshops will be maximised if I’m able to stay in the same classroom for the morning sessions, and in the same (but can be different from the morning’s venue!) classroom for the afternoon sessions.

SECONDARY: My most popular format for a one-day visit is two 60-minute talks (whole of Year 7, whole of Year 8) and one 60-minute workshops for one class size (e.g. top-set or G&T group). Other possibilities include four 60-minute workshops with individual classes, or please get in touch for a bespoke schedule.

(Primary): Yes – usually to start off the day. This can help your school to “get the best of both worlds” if you are considering a day of workshops rather than shows.

(Secondary): as secondaries tend to be large, I tend to present enrichment talks / Assemblies to one year group at a time.

For shows, could the school please provide one or two long tables (a 6-foot trestle table is ideal), and access to your projector or smart-board. Barney will bring Powerpoint slides on both laptop and USB stick ready to plug into your projector or PC. For shows Barney will also provide a P.A. system with microphone and music. The facility to display some Powerpoint slides is useful for most and essential for some of the workshops.

Yes (enhanced) and I am also on the DBS update service. I also bring the actual certificate on the day.

I am based in Bournemouth, Dorset and also cover the rest of Dorset, Hampshire, Berkshire, West Sussex, Wiltshire and most of Devon, Somerset, Herts, Oxfordshire, Bucks and the South, including parts of London (mainly South and West London but not East and North-East London). I do not currently travel to the Midlands or the North – if you are in these areas you could try School Select or www.findschoolworkshops.co.uk , both of which list STEM providers covering nationwide. Please phone or email if in doubt, thank you!

This depends predominantly on travel from Bournemouth.

PRIMARY: A full day typically costs between £425 (Bournemouth) and £625 (London), these prices correct August 2023. I do also offer half-day visits (priced accordingly) if you are close to Bournemouth, or perhaps it might be possible for neighbouring Infant / Junior schools to share me for a full day (one school before lunch and one after)? I’m also happy to discuss reduced rates if you are a small school with fewer than 200 pupils – please phone or email for more details, thank you!

SECONDARY: A full day typically costs £475 in Dorset and surrounding counties. A travel supplement from Bournemouth (Dorset) may apply if you are further afield, but please phone or email for a quote, thank you!

Yes! – academic tuition at GCSE, A-level and beyond; and non-academic maths enrichment for KS2 / Upper Primary upwards. I tutor online worldwide, and face-to-face in Bournemouth only. Please head to my personal maths tutor website for more details.

Barney made Maths educational AND fun - a fantastic day!
I. Martin, Sunnyhill Primary School
The children absolutely loved it and came back into the classroom buzzing about numeracy
Mrs D, Independent School, Bournemouth
Covered so many strands of maths with just the right level of challenge to engage every child
Joanna, Corpus Christi School B’mth
Pitched perfectly for the class. Everyone was engaged in the activities and all of the pupils loved it!
L. Richards, St Martin's School