Everyday Maths is a BBC schools TV series from the 1970s and 1980s, covering Mathematics for secondary school pupils.
A sitcom about early retiree Sam, a work-shy chancer, learning to look after himself while bringing up his grandson Mike, also a work-shy chancer.
For Sam and Mike looking after themselves involves working out lots of practical, everyday maths, such as working out the cost of goods, measuring up for DIY and understanding market research claims, which they work out with help from their friends and colleagues from week to week.
The series shows the pair making mistakes and confusing themselves, and then coming good when they work out how the maths should work. Often it literally shows them doing this, using animation to visualise the calculations they are working out in their heads, or dwelling on the paper as they write out a sum.
The series was specifically designed for students who were not expected to do brilliantly well in their maths CSE exams, avoiding abstract concepts completely and focussing just on the type of maths that would be useful to understand in normal life. For example the series doesn't cover fractions but does look extensively at decimal fractions in the form of money and measurements.
The series replaced the maths series Countdown for the same age group. Everyday Maths was successful, shown and repeated over five full years when originally it had only been planned for four, before being replaced by a new and updated maths sitcom for the 1980s called Maths Counts.
Titles & Theme Music
The series title is spelled out in the display of a calculator, whose buttons are actually the necessary letters of the alphabet.
A similar calculator-based design was used for the teacher's notes (see below). The series encouraged the use of calculators, alongside manual calculations, to relieve the tedium of repeated calculations and allow the characters (and pupils) to focus on working out how to solve their maths problem.
|1.||Pounds and Pence||21 Sep 1978|
|2.||The Long and the Short of It||5 Oct 1978|
|3.||A Number of Things||19 Oct 1978|
|4.||Time and Table||9 Nov 1978|
|5.||The Round-Up||23 Nov 1978|
|6.||Ten Per Cent per Ted||18 Jan 1979|
|7.||Which Way to Go?||1 Feb 1979|
|8.||Play Now, Pay Later||15 Feb 1979|
|9.||Say It with Figures, Part 1||8 Mar 1979|
|10.||Say It with Figures, Part 2||22 Mar 1979|
|11.||Try It for Size||3 May 1979|
|12.||Fast and Furious||17 May 1979|
|13.||Cheap at Half the Price||7 Jun 1979|
|14.||The Last Count||21 Jun 1979|
One episode of the series was first broadcast as a Preview programme on 16th June 1978 at 11:35am on BBC1, but I don't know which one.
- 1978-79 (autumn, spring and summer) - fortnightly Thursdays 10:03am, repeated in alternate weeks Mondays 9:38am, on BBC1
- 1979-80 (autumn, spring and summer) - fortnightly Fridays 11:40am, repeated in alternate weeks Wednesdays 11:02am, on BBC1
- 1980-81 (autumn, spring and summer) - fortnightly Thursdays 9:47am, repeated in alternate weeks Wednesdays 11:02am, on BBC1. Not shown on Wednesdays in Scotland in the autumn, where Early History: Scotland was shown instead.
- 1981-82 (autumn, spring and summer) - fortnightly Wednesdays 10:15am, on BBC1.
- 1982-83 (autumn, spring and summer) - fortnightly Wednesdays 10:15am, on BBC1.
|With||Sam Kydd as Sid (episodes 1, 2 & 6)|
Barbara Keogh as Hetty Carson (episodes 1, 2 & 8)
|Set Designer||Janet Budden|
|Film Cameraman||John Turner, Lawrence Rush|
|Film Sound||Chris King, Dave Simpson|
|Film Editor||David Hunt, Tony Kovacs, Graham Whitlock|
|Studio Lighting||Norman Brierley, John Carter|
|Studio Sound||Alan Fogg|
|Make Up||Sheelagh Wells, Ann Ailes|
|Production Assistant||Nicci Crowther|
Booklets of teacher's notes were published, costing 50p per term, with a summary of the mathematical content and the plot to each episode, without giving away the comedy payoffs.
The notes also included three pupils' worksheets for each episode which could be duplicated for classroom use.
- When Everyday Maths was launched in 1978, the BBC annual programme guide anticipated that "The series will be repeated in 1979-80, 1980-81 and 1981-2." (p.43). Producer David Roseveare emphasised the point when the series launched in a letter to the journal Mathematics in School (vol. 7 no. 3, May 1978, p.36) when he advised "Reviewers hurry: it ends in 1981-82!" Ultimately it was broadcast again in 1982-83.
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