The subject content for Mathematics includes the use of data in Statistics and specifies that “Specifications should require students to explore the data set(s), and associated contexts, during their course of study to enable them to perform tasks that assume familiarity with the contexts, the main features of the data and the ways in which technology can help explore the data. Specifications should also require students to demonstrate the ability to analyse a subset or features of the data using a calculator with standard statistical functions.”

Calculators used must include the following features: an iterative function and  the ability to compute summary statistics and access probabilities from standard statistical distributions.

From the examination Boards:

  • AQA: The large data set Family Food,2014 is found with their Assessment resources.
  • Pearson Edexcel: Weather data samples provided by the Met Office are included with Teaching and Learning Materials.
  • From OCR comes a very helpful document, Teaching Statistics Using Large Data Sets which includes information and teaching suggestions. Information is provided on both OCR specification A and OCR (MEI) Specification B. The Data set for Specifcation A is under Assessment Materials on this page. Four sets of data: two each from the censuses of 2001 and 2011; two on method of travel to work and two showing the age structure of the population make up the large data set.
  • MEI’s approach is different in that three data sets will be provided for teaching, these will be issued in June 2017. One of the data sets will be specified for the examination. This is discussed in the document mentioned above, also in MEI’s video introducing the specification.

MEI have a useful resource page on Data Sets

From Hodder Education, scroll down this page for a data set on Cycling accidents. This data set has 93 records on cycling accidents including for example distance from home and wearing a helmet y/n. The data is discussed in Hodder’s book for MEI A Level Maths but clearly it is also a very useful resource in its own right. We can introduce larger data sets for younger students too and a set such as this would work well.
Cycling Accidents data set

On the subject of large data sets, for information on all the Examination Boards and large data sets, read Bruce Hampton’s detailed comparison.

Resources including resources for Statistics re included on the Resources page.