When I left school I vowed never to do maths again, luckily time has passed and I've grown a small appreciation for it. In school I think it is important to promote a love for all subjects, even the ones you don't teach, so here's my attempt at using maths in RE.
This is a really short post because I think it is important that you have a lot of freedom with this and I thought it better to get it posted and for you to start using it rather than a super lengthy post. I will, of course, update this once the pupils hand in their work and I'll provide you with some lovely examples.
All data comes from the ONS (Office of National Statistics) and it is their 2011 Census data that I am using. There is also this handy article from the Guardian to help things along.
Basically, using the excel spreadsheet below (ONS, 2011) I make pupils select what their focus is going to be. It's up to them is it one religion, two religions, all religions? Are they going to look at men, or women, which ethnic groups are they going to look at. There is a wealth of data, which is a blessing and a curse, but it is easy to adapt, for example you could pre-work out the percentages, or you could select smaller samples.
The fun bit is watching them in class relishing the cross-curricular aspect of maths, but applying it directly in RE.
As this is the 2011 data, it only gives us a small snapshot of the make-up of British society, so what do they need to do for homework? Research. They need to stick to their themes, but to get data from two previous censuses, (e.g. 1961 and 1991), they'll be bringing that to the next lesson.
In the next lesson, they'll have data from three different years, they can see what British society was like in the slightly distant past (or ancient history for them), something a bit more recent and then the most recent. We will start to plot trends, how have things changed? Why have they changed? What will it be like in the future?
There's a lot that you can do with this data, it certainly ticks the box of ensuring that pupils understand that Britain is and has been a Christian country, the data can show them that.
As I said at the beginning, this is a bit of a rushed out post, but more details will come. In the meantime check out the data, see what your pupils can do with it.
You can view the spreadsheet below, or download it at the bottom. As I said before, this is data from the ONS.
Oh, and when you print, do it as landscape, maybe even A3 if you're feeling flush.
Let me know if you have any questions, or to show me what you've done with it in class.