Winchester resident Shelley Frape has designed a new style of protractor to reduce frustration in maths classes.

This long standing maths essential, which has not changed for 100 years, has been redesigned by the teacher, who teaches in Andover, to help reduce confusion and simplify its use in geometry lessons. Stationery giant Helix has partnered with Mrs Frape and will launch her new design for distribution throughout the UK and overseas from September onwards.

She said: “Having taught secondary school maths for a number of years I could see within my own classrooms that the measurement markings on a traditional protractor were the cause of some confusion.

"My redesign has removed the anti-clockwise scale and placed the zero line at the very base of the protractor, which makes it easier for students to use while improving their understanding of acute and obtuse angles with the use of the two colours and inclusion of the words, acute and obtuse. These simple changes have made a big difference in the classroom so I’m hoping going forward it will make life easier for both students and maths teachers alike.”

To turn her idea into reality Mrs Frape worked with Andover-based invention design company Idea Reality who took her concept to create prototypes of the new style protractor for both primary and secondary school use.

From there she approached and worked with a number of schools to research how her protractor redesign worked in reality.

Mrs Frape said: “I worked with both Sparsholt Primary School and St Swithun’s in Winchester who used the two new styles of protractor with their students. The feedback was very positive with both schools reporting back that their students found the redesigned version much easier to use, which helped reduce the number of unnecessary errors made by their students. Exam boards were then approached to see if it would be acceptable for use in their exams and they agreed that the non-worded version would be acceptable for use at Key Stage 2 and in an exam setting. Once I had the green light from the boards, we were good to go and ready to see if I could get my new style protractor making a difference in classrooms.”

One of Mrs Frape's new style of protractor will be available to Hampshire schools via the Bar End, Winchester based County Supplies and to the public via Amazon.