Year 11s Sweetly Visualise Conditional Probability


Year 11 mathematicians enjoyed a socially distanced practical lesson clarifying the sticky issues of proving conditional probability. And they did it in the most fun way possible, using sweets.

Ms Mumby, Head of Mathematics, said, “Conditional probability is the classic problem where you have a bag of different coloured sweets, remove one at at time, and predict the likelihood that the next sweet you pick from the bag will be a certain colour. It was nice for the girls to do something a little different and yet more like normal teaching for Maths. It’s been interesting to find ways to demonstrate this practical problem within the guidelines of covid distancing. The girls brought in their own (nut-free!) sweets from jelly worms, smarties and skittles for the demonstration and they genuinely enjoyed it.

Hazel said, “It was fun because we used sweets to calculate probability.

Sophie said, “It was so much fun. I felt like a six-year-old when you do fractions in primary school.

Ruby said, “Ms Mumby said it was like Level 8 Maths so to be doing this as though we were three-year-olds was quite fun. It helped to visualise conditional probability, and I’m quite a visual learner.

Rosanna said, “We could enjoy this lesson more because we combined play and study.