Rich Aunt

This task allows students to explore the difference between linear and exponential sequences and their sums.

Mathematical strand

Algebra and Graphs, Financial Maths

Prior knowledge

Calculating profit and loss, using a spreadsheet to model simple financial contexts.

Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

  • AQA
  • C&G
  • Eduqas
  • Pearson/ Edexcel
  • OCR

Suggested approaches

This task is suitable for small group discussion and modelling using a spreadsheet. Given the need to ‘reply to a letter’ there is a purpose and audience for the work which can be motivating.


The resource is on the following sheet but can be freely downloaded from the STEM e-library.

Rich Aunt Task

Relevant digital technologies

Students will need spreadsheets to model the different approaches proposed by the Rich Aunt and inform their decision-making.

Possible extensions

Students could make up their own scenario where the outcomes are not immediately obvious.


From SMILE spreadsheet resources available at