Reflections from previous work groups: Core Maths

Here are some reflections from a previous work group

Focus: Core Maths

Led by: Tom Rainbow, Ivybridge Community College & Ed Gore, Combeshead Academy

When: 2017-18


To examine whether the participants felt that Core Maths was fulfilling its remit to support Maths understanding in other subjects. To help teachers of Core Maths understand how Maths is taught and assessed in other A level subjects.  To allow teachers to discuss challenges facing recruitment to and the teaching of Core Maths.


Three face to face sessions. The first meeting set out the aims and objectives of the group; we exchanged experience of teaching Core Maths and how Maths techniques are approached in other subjects; we looked in more detail at how Spearman’s Rank is assessed in other A level subjects; we set up the first gap task.  The second meeting was mostly spent looking at the gap task research that the participants had done into how Core Maths topics are assessed in other A level subjects.  We each interviewed a teacher from another subject and got detailed information from them.  A long discussion was had about the problems that other teachers had in teaching Maths topics that they were unfamiliar with.  We also set up the second gap task, which was to teach a lesson which attempted to address some of these problems.  In the last meeting we looked at the results from this task.  Some participants had taught a lesson with a teacher from another subject; some had designed a lesson that used a context from another subject for a Core Maths lesson.  We heard from each participant and discussed their findings.


The working group has been brilliant because it has meant I haven’t had to do research about Maths in all of the A level subjects but by sharing our experiences I have a much better understanding of Maths in Business, Psychology, Science and Geography. By learning about Maths in other subjects it has made me consider the resources I use for Core Maths students

This was absolutely a worthwhile and interesting project. I hope that the work can be developed to help teachers with the overlap of maths in other subject areas.