Share this

Go Deeper with Hamilton's Problem-solving Investigations

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Hamilton’s Problem-Solving Investigations provide school-wide solutions to the challenges of building investigative skills from Early Years to Year 6.

The skills of mathematical problem solving and investigation are fundamental to the maths curriculum for England and for developing sophisticated and modern mathematicians everywhere. However, these skills do not fall naturally out of the teaching of the maths curriculum itself. They require dedicated time, content and pedagogy. Most challengingly, they require teachers to present children with graded activities and problems that are relevant to the curriculum while at the same time develop skills in mathematical reasoning and logical thinking, and give children sufficient practice to feel confident in these.

Hamilton's Problem-Solving Investigations provide materials and advice for teaching these skills well, in a variety of ways and contexts, and with confidence.


  • Guidance from Ruth: Professor Ruth Merttens explains how to get the most from Hamilton's investigations for Years 1 to 6.

    Download guidance from Ruth →
  • Guidance from Nick: Nick Barwick discusses how to use open-ended tasks to develop problem-solving skills in Early Years.

    Download guidance from Nick →
  • Mrs Multiple's cakes: In this video, Nick Barwick discusses using the investigation "Mrs Multiple's Cakes" with a Year 2 class.

    Watch video →
  • The impact of an investigative approach: In this video, Nick Barwick describes the impact of an investigative approach on a Year 5 class.

    Watch video →
  • Do Hamilton provide answers to investigations? Get guidance on assessing problem-solving and reasoning skills.

    Read blog →

Investigation Examples

See examples of worked investigations, with explanatory notes about the process.

Contextualised Maths in Topics

Topics present abundant opportunities for contextual maths. Have fun with meaningful maths and explore a cross-curricular topic at the same time. Find hidden maths treasures.

Additional Maths Challenges

For further maths problems and puzzles for your class, try these National Numeracy publications from 2000. They come with answers too!