Year 7 New Starters

Have you got a favourite lesson you always use with a new year 7 class? I always wanted their first lesson to be fun, exciting, challenging whilst not being too hard or too easy. I was never quite sure of what a new class were capable of so wanted a lesson which would give me some indication of their ability. I always spent the first few lessons doing a variety of investigations and open-ended tasks, easy enough for the more nervous student to make a start but open-ended so the more eager and enthusiastic could flourish and show me what they could do.

The STEM centre's elibrary contains a number of useful tasks. I have put some of them together in this list.

Please share your favourite starter lesson by replying to this post.


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Stephen Lyon


Thank you for your reply and your suggestions.

Sorry you couldn't get the link to work. Try clicking on this link


I'm afraid I can't see your list to check whether you already have these ideas, but I have three shape activiites in mind, which are all old ones, but good ones:

1. Using 3 x 3 pinboards and rubber bands, how many different triangles can you make? Which are the same/different? Can you record them on dotty paper, then classify them?

2. Using polydrons (or something similar), find all possible nets of a cube and record them on squared paper

3. Using William Gibbs' ideas at to make regular polygons and discuss their properties


I like the shorter  investigations.  They would make a good introductory group circus activity for a for a new class.



I like anything that they can do in groups, to try and get the to integrate with each other a little. Then I feel like I can talk to each group, even if I don't get to talk to each child as an individual. I've got mixed ability in every year group now, so I started off with logic puzzles so the weaker studetns could get involved....

I just opened the link - that's planned my lessons for the rest of this week :)