Become a Data Detective with our Mash of the Month

Jan. 6, 2023

Each month we highlight a #MashoftheMonth, focusing on a tool or application within Purple Mash and how it can be used within the classroom to support learning across the curriculum. During the month, if you share how, you have used the #MashoftheMonth, you will be entered into a draw to win a 2Simple Goody Bag!

How do I teach data handling in UKS2?

This month our spotlight is on Data Detectives, a database and data handling tool developed to give those children in Upper Key Stage 2 a challenge with a range of activities and levels that they can work through. It moves children on from database tool 2Investigate and enables them to analyse and question a range of data sets.

Data detectives ensures children experience working with a range of data handling exercises and introduces database vocabulary to pupils. They will be introduced to key terminology such as search, sort, filter and link and use these as they progress through the levels and complete the activities.

Playing Data Detectives 1
Playing a level 1 activity in Data Detectives

How to use Data Detectives with Year 5 and Year 6 Pupils

The built in Data Detectives activities are organised into three levels with the tasks becoming more complex as the children work through the activities. The levels are organised in the following way:

  • Level 1 - Tutorial level: Each activity teaches an individual skill with data such as filtering or sorting.
  • Level 2 – Integrating skills: These activities require more than one skill to complete the stages. 
  • Level 3 – Linked challenges: These activities are all linked to a zoo scenario. The children will be solving the mystery of who stole a panda named Pei.

The activities are each split into a range of steps, enabling the children to build on their skills at each stage requiring the children to complete an assessment question that helps them to interpret the data before moving onto the next stage.

And don't worry: there's also a teacher guide with all of the activity solutions, so you don't have to be a database whizz to get your class up to speed!

Ideas for using Data Detectives to teach databases in class:

  • Use Data Detectives as an extension activity for children who have got to grips with the rest of the database units from our Computing Scheme of Work.
  • If you have children who are Exceeding ARE in this topic, why not ask them to lead a small group through the exercises?
  • Create a letter from Zario the Zookeeper before your class embark on the third level to create even more excitement.
  • You could even extend the third level into other areas of your curriculum: create factfiles or write poems about pandas in English and look at the regions where pandas live in Geography.
Playing level 3
Playing level 3 of Data Detectives

Share your work with us

However you use Data Detectives in school, we would love to see how your children get on. You can share examples via our Twitter or Facebook pages, and if you share this January with the #MashoftheMonth hashtag you'll be entered into our monthly draw to win a 2Simple goody bag!