Section 3: Discussing data

Key Focus Question: How can pupils collect, collate and understand data?

Keywords: survey; data collection; data analysis; interpretation; pie chart; bar chart; pictogram; histogram; line graph; scatter graph

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will:

  • be familiar with a range of different data sets that pupils can usefully collect for analysis;
  • have developed your knowledge of graphically representing data;
  • have developed and used a structured question approach to assess your pupils’ understanding.


There are three core aspects of working with data: collecting data (using what pupils can do already and new methods to count things); recording data; analysing and presenting data. In all these activities, pupils themselves must play the major role.

The focus in this section is practical: pupils will collect data themselves, decide how best to represent it and analyse it. Through whole-class discussion, decisions are made by the pupils themselves, with guidance from you.

This section will help you plan and carry out these activities with your pupils, working with real ‘first hand’ data gathered in the classroom.

1. Organising surveys to collect data