Opinions

Leaders of mathematics: taking the next steps to develop your department

Becoming a leader of mathematics can be a daunting, but very exciting, prospect for teachers. We chatted to Marcia Gunson, a mathematics teacher in Leeds, who shared how she prepared for the challenge by attending our New and aspiring leaders of mathematics CPD.How did you find out about the CPD?I found out about the course, and the programme of...


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What is the difference between Core Maths and pure maths?

I recently came across my old A level question paper. Back in those days all A level courses were linear; the first paper containing pure mathematics and the second containing the applied element.Skip forward to curriculum 2000 when all A level examinations became modular, each consisting of six modules. The mathematics course consisted of three...


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How to support your mathematics department

The week in the Algarve seems as though it happened ages ago. Those odd jobs around the house have been completed and then finally, reality hits home as you head back into school to take on the next lot of students studying the maths GCSE.The new term is a time for reflection on the previous two years, identifying what worked and what needs to...


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Get the support you need to teach the new A level mathematics curriculum

This September, hot on the heels of the new GCSE, changes to the mathematics A level specifications will come in to effect.In the new A level, all students are required to study Pure mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics. In addition, three overarching themes of Mathematical Argument and Proof, Problem Solving, and Mathematical Modelling must be...


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Time saving ideas for making great secondary mathematics resources

A lot has been written about this year’s mathematics GCSE examination results- what will the grade boundaries be? What is a good pass? How might post-16 take up be affected? No matter how your students fared this year no doubt new efforts are being made to best prepare your future cohorts for the demands of the new GCSE examinations.September...


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Why manipulatives belong in the secondary maths classroom

During my time as an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) I spent time working with teachers in primary schools, supporting maths coordinators. Despite being there as a ‘maths specialist’ to support the teaching of maths, during my visits I learnt at least as much as the primary teachers with whom I worked. What I learned had a great impact in my own...


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Teaching A level mathematics: generating discussions and increasing confidence

Teaching A level mathematics can be difficult, especially when you have little experience of teaching the subject. We chatted to Alex Cameron, a teacher at Bentley Wood High School in Harrow, who explains the impact that our New to teaching A level mathematics summer school has had on him and his students.Tell us a bit about yourself – where...


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How to succeed as a non-specialist teacher of mathematics

It may seem a little strange to some people, but as a head of a large mathematics department, I actually looked forward to that time of the year when the timetable had to be constructed.It was like a giant Sudoku puzzle that would takes days, even weeks, to solve. It was a long, tricky process, but I loved it when eventually it all pulled...


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The twelve resources of ChristMATHS

The National STEM Learning Centre and Network's Christmas present to you is a collection of the best Christmas-themed mathematics resources to get your students really thinking about mathematics in the festive period.  1. The 12 days of ChristmasHow many presents did ‘my true love’ give altogether in the song? How many French Hens? These, and...


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Leading from the front: confessions of a head of mathematics

A clear, strategic approach is essential to becoming a successful head of department.I was once asked by my head teacher what my aspirations for the mathematics department were. I was a bit taken aback. Was he asking how many students will get GCSE grades A* to C? Or maybe what the A level results will look like? I must have looked a little...


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