When visiting the different workshops it was great to hear so much talk about maths – what was being discussed and what it would look like in the classroom – and also to see lots of participation in the various activities.
The three key note speakers also gave us much to think about. Dame Celia Hoyles stressed the importance of logical thinking and the need for teachers to provide interesting scenarios for students to test and reason their understanding, whether this is by paper based problems, role play, games or digital means. Celia also modelled the use of multiple representations so that students can be challenged as to the depth of their understanding.
Debbie Morgan presented the mastery approach for teaching the new National Curriculum and how it supports the aims of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. She highlighted the key components of this approach being less content, greater depth, the class working together and longer time on each topic.
The plenary session by Tony Gardiner provoked much discussion starting from mathematical prompts that challenged our thinking about the structure of numbers and how we facilitate students to make the connections in depth so that they have a basis for algebraic reasoning. Tony also emphasised that what we teach is only part of a student’s continuum of mathematical experience.
At the conference I also shared the action plan of work groups for this year. The summary can be found later in the newsletter. The majority of work groups are open to all but many have lesson study projects embedded which are for a limited number of teachers so that they are manageable. Please get in touch with the named leader or Gilly firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to find out more.