Edexcel S1 January 2002, Q5 |

I used this question in an S1 lesson when I was heavily pregnant, much to the amusement of my students. It led to a discussion about the gestation periods of other mammals (those poor elephants!). We’d clearly expect a fairly strong correlation between size and gestation - when I get a chance I'll see if I can design an interesting activity using this data (I wonder whether anything similar is done in biology).

Speaking of gestation periods - I remember when my due date for my first daughter came and went, I tried to find statistics online to tell me how far overdue I might go. I wanted to know the probability of baby arriving at 42 weeks. I didn’t find much online at the time but again I feel it could make for an interesting lesson.

The red book contains this description of the centile lines on the growth charts:

More information about the charts is available in this fact sheet from the RCPCH.

While I was thinking about how to design an activity for my S1 class based on these charts, I discovered that the author of The Chalk Face has beaten me to it with this nice 'Quartiles and Percentiles' activity. And @srcav has already written this blog post 'the mathematics of parenthood' about the potential to use growth charts in his teaching.

Incidentally, the red book says ‘someone who has been appropriately trained should complete the growth chart’. Hmm. I hope they're not suggesting that members of the public are incapable of adding a dot to a simple scatter graph?!

My mini-mathematicians. July 2014. |

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